Manuel A. Lopez, MD, FACS

Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

(210) 495-5771 (LPS1)
(210) 495-2367          
Lopez Plastic Surgery
1314 E. Sonterra Blvd, Suite 5104
San Antonio, Texas 78258

General Surgical Risks

ABOUT RISKS
We want you to understand fully the risks involved in surgery so that you can make an informed decision. Although complications are infrequent, all surgeries have some degree of risk. All of us at Lopez Plastic Surgery will use our expertise and knowledge to avoid complications in so far as we are able. If a complication does occur, we will use those same skills in an attempt to solve the problem quickly.

In general, the least serious problems occur more often and the more serious problems occur rarely. If a complication does arise, you, Dr. Lopez and his staff will need to cooperate in order to resolve the problem. Most complications involve an extension of the recovery period rather than any permanent effect on your final result.

Normal symptoms swelling and bruising: Moderate swelling and bruising are normal after any surgery. Severe swelling and bruising may indicate bleeding or possible infection.

Discomfort and pain: Mild to moderate discomfort or pain is normal after any surgery. If the pain becomes severe and is not relieved by pain medication, please call us at (210) 495-2367.

Crusting along the incision lines: Not uncommon and is treated with antibiotic ointment generously applied.

Numbness: Small sensory nerves to the skin surface are occasionally cut when the incision is made or interrupted by undermining of the skin during surgery. The sensation in those areas gradually returns–usually within 2 or 3 months up to 1 year as the nerve endings heal spontaneously.

Itching: Itching and occasional small shooting electrical sensations within the skin frequently occur as the nerve endings heal. Ice, skin moisturizers, and massages are frequently helpful. These symptoms are common during the recovery period.

Redness of scars: All new scars are red, dark pink, or purple. Scars on the face usually fade within 3 to 6 months.

Hematoma: Small collections of blood under the skin are usually allowed to absorb spontaneously. Larger hematomas may require aspiration, drainage, or even surgical removal to achieve the best result.

Inflammation and infection: A superficial infection may require antibiotic ointment. Deeper infections are treated with antibiotics. Development of an abscess usually requires drainage.

Thick, wide, or depressed scars: Abnormal scars may occur even though we have used the most modern plastic surgery techniques. Injection of steroids into the scars, placement of silicone sheeting onto the scars, or further surgery to correct the scars is occasionally necessary. Some areas on the body scar more than others and some people scar more than others do. Your own history of scarring should give you some indication of what you can expect.

Wound separation or delayed healing: Any incision, during the healing phase, may separate or heal unusually slow for a number of reasons. These include inflammation, infection, wound tension, decreased circulation, smoking or excess external pressure. If delayed healing occurs, the final outcome is usually not significantly affected, but secondary revision of the scar may be indicated.

Sensitivity or allergy to dressings or tape: Occasionally, allergic or sensitivity reactions may occur from soaps, ointments, tape or sutures used during or after surgery. Such problems are unusual and are usually mild and easily treated. In extremely rare circumstances, allergic reactions can be severe and require aggressive treatment or even hospitalization.

Increased risks for smokers: Smokers have a greater chance of skin loss and poor healing because of decreased skin circulation.

Injury to deeper structures: Blood vessels, nerves and muscles may be injured during surgery. The incidence of such injuries is extremely rare.

Medical complications: Pulmonary embolism, severe allergic reactions to medications, cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack, and hyperthermia are rare but serious and life-threatening problems. Failure to disclose all pertinent medical data before surgery may cause serious problems for you and for the medical team during surgery.)

UNSATISFACTORY RESULT & NEED FOR REVISIONAL SURGERY
All Facial Plastic Surgery treatments and operations are performed to improve a condition, a problem or appearance. While the procedures are performed with a very high probability of success, disappointments occur and results are not always acceptable to patients or the surgeon. Secondary procedures or treatments may be indicated. Rarely, problems may occur that are permanent.

POOR RESULTS: Asymmetry, unhappiness with the result, poor healing, etc. may occur. Minimal differences are usually acceptable. Larger differences may require revision surgery.

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