How safe is cosmetic surgery?

From Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty:

In the United States, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) estimates that in 2004 there was one death for every 57,000 cosmetic surgery procedures done, while a study in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal states it was about one in every 51,459 operations. The American Society of Anesthesiologists says that there is one anaesthesia-related death out of every 250,000 procedures done in the USA. By comparison, according to the National Centre for Health Statistics of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of 100,000 women who gave birth, 13 died.


Deaths in "Cosmetic Surgery"

Most of these reported deaths were not due to the surgery so much as the anaesthesia. However, doctor training has also become an issue, as doctors untrained in plastic surgery enter the lucrative sphere of medical aesthetics. The question of setting regulations and qualifications for the wide variety of medical aesthetic procedures that now exist is being tackled worldwide.
  • Author Olivia Goldsmith, 54, famed for her book-turned-movie The First Wives' Club, suffered cardiac arrest while under general anaesthesia for a chin tuck on 7th January 2004. She went into a coma and died on the 15th of January. According to the office of the chief medical examiner in June that year, she died from "known complications" arising from four drugs – meperidine, promethazine, propofol and fentanyl. This happened at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. The state’s Health Department report noted that there had been an incomplete pre-operative history and physical on Goldsmith, which did not "address the patient’s significant health history". The hospital was fined US$20,000 (about RM63,709) for "serious breakdowns in patient care", including failure to monitor Goldsmith’s breathing. This sum was reached as health investigators found 10 separate violations, which carried a maximum fine of US$2,000 (about RM6,371) each.
    A month after Olivia Goldsmith’s demise, Susan Malitz, 56, died as she was being prepared for facelift surgery also at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. Findings reported in June 2004 were that she was injected in the wrong part of her neck with lidocaine (anaesthetic), which may have gone down her windpipe and entered her bloodstream much faster. The amount of lidocaine she had in her bloodstream could have killed her four times.
    In May 2004, the hospital issued a statement: "Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital’s cosmetic surgeons and physicians are among the most highly regarded, nationally ranked professionals in their field, and over the past 10 years, have performed more than 130,000 surgical procedures with excellent outcomes."
  • In October 2005, Stella Obasanjo, wife of Nigeria’s first lady, died after having cosmetic surgery at the Molding Clinic in Marbella, on Spain’s Costa del Sol. The coroner’s inquest revealed that she died of multiple organ failure. Reports state that Obasanjo had the procedure on a Friday and was recuperating when she took a turn for the worse on Saturday night, just 36 hours after the surgery. The autopsy report stated that she was already in a state of cerebral death when she was brought to a hospital on Sunday night. It was reported that she suffered sudden shock after the operation, which led to failure of her respiratory organs. Spain is said to have the highest number of plastic surgeons per head in Europe. Corporacion Dermoestetica, Spain’s largest cosmetic surgery company, has branches in Portugal, Italy and Britain and is a listed company.
  • In September 2007, 32-year-old real estate agent Krista Stryland died following liposuction done by Dr. Behnaz Yazdanfar, a family physician operating at the Toronto Cosmetic Clinic who, on her website, claimed to be able to do a range of surgical procedures including breast surgery, tummy tucks and liposuction. The death brought about national debate in Canada regarding which doctors should be allowed to perform which procedures. It also highlighted that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario had failed to act although it had been struggling for years with the issue of cosmetic surgery being performed by doctors with no formal surgical training.
  • In November 2007, Donda West, 58, died in Los Angeles a day after she had a tummy tuck, liposuction and a breast reduction done by Dr. Jan Adams, host of TV show Plastic Surgery Before & After, which has been shown on satellite television here in Malaysia. In January 2008, the coroner’s office stated that the final matter of death could not be determined but there was no sign of "surgical or anaesthetic misadventure". Five months before her death, she had approached plastic surgeon Dr. Andre Aboolian who was concerned that she had a condition that could cause a heart attack. He declined to operate on her until she had a physical done.


Scott Loessin said…
After reading the reviews about the plastic/cosmetic surgery i think its very risky to do these type of surgeries. One should take proper advise and proper precautions while doing these type of surgeries.
Scott Loessin