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10 Riskiest Plastic Surgery Procedures

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to increase the size of your breasts by placing implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles. Though this is a very common procedure, there are still many risks, especially when it's performed by a doctor without proper certification. These include pain in the breast, infection, changes in nipple sensation, scar tissue that distorts the shape of the implant, and implant leakage or rupture, which can be very dangerous. 


Silicone Lip Injections

Also called lip augmentation, this is a non-surgical procedure that aims to improve the appearance of your lips by increasing their fullness using silicone. Though there are common side effects from this procedure such as bleeding, swelling, and bruising, there are also more serious potential complications that could arise.

These include lip asymmetry, lumps in the lips, infection, scarring, stiffening of the lip, and severe or prolonged swelling or bruising. While injecting anything into the lips can be dangerous, silicone is especially so because it can lead to granulomas or hard scar tissue that can be painful and disfiguring. 


Butt Implants and Injections

This procedure, also referred to as gluteal augmentation, can involve many different surgical procedures, including placing a gluteal implant, liposculpture (transferring fat using liposuction), and body contouring. There are many risks for this procedure that will vary depending on how it is performed.

They can include bleeding, infection, implant rupture, implant migration, pressure on your sciatic nerve, exposing the implant, scarring, nerve damage, and seroma. 

In the last few years, there have been several high-profile cases of women dying from complications related to both butt implants and injections. 



Liposuction is a procedure for removing excess fat from underneath the skin using suction. This procedure has the potential to cause some of the most serious complications, such as perforation in the stomach walls, blood clots, systemic infections, and fat clogs in the lungs. Many of these complications, especially those that occur simultaneously, can easily lead to death. 


Thread Lifts

A thread lift is a procedure that is less invasive than other facelift procedures because it involves using barb sutures to hold skin in place instead of cutting skin away. However, patients who undergo one are still at risk for complications. The long-term effects of this procedure can include extensive scarring, discomfort, puckering skin, visibility of threads, and appearance of lumps under the skin.



Double Jaw Surgery

Double jaw surgery is sometimes used to correct potentially serious complications from conditions like sleep apnea, TMJ, and congenital diseases that affect the face. However, in countries such as South Korea, there are those that embrace it as a cosmetic procedure to attain a more desirable jawline. 

Some risks associated with this procedure include bleeding, decreased blood supply to the jaw segments, infection, damage to the teeth, and jaw joint problems. Most surprisingly, in one study, more than half of those surveyed said they experienced at least some facial numbness, sometimes long after the procedure was completed. 


Tummy Tuck

Also known as an abdominoplasty, this procedure involves removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen. The remaining skin is then tightened in order to improve the appearance of the stomach.

The risks associated with this type of plastic surgery include seroma (fluid accumulation beneath the skin), poor wound healing, tissue necrosis (death of fatty tissue under the skin), numbness, and scarring. 

Of all the plastic surgery procedures available, tummy tucks are consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous, even when performed by a licensed professional. 


Injection Lipolysis

This is a very controversial procedure in which drug mixtures are injected into the patient with the intention of destroying fat cells. Some complications that might occur include an allergic reaction to the injected substance, bleeding from the injection site, nausea, diarrhea, and formation of solid nodules underneath the skin. In addition to these risks, the FDA has found that the claims surrounding injection lipolysis were misleading and unfounded. 


Body Lift

This type of plastic surgery involves lifting the belly, thighs, buttocks, and genitals all at once. This procedure is highly complex and around 50% of people who undergo it will experience some sort of complications.

These can include hematoma (internal bleeding), infection at the surgical sites, numbness, fat necrosis (fatty tissue deep in the skin dying), persistent pain, swelling in the legs, asymmetries, cardiac and pulmonary problems, skin loss, and scarring. 


Limb Lengthening

This is a surgery that extends the length of bones in shorter limbs by separating bones into two parts and then relying on the bones to naturally regenerate. Major risks for this procedure include non-union (the two halves of the bones become separate and will not grow together), nerve and blood vessel damage, and premature consolidation (the bone healing before the lengthening process is complete).