So while we strive to provide you with a flawless complication-free experience, we can never give you a 100% guarantee that a complication will not occur. It is for that reason that you need to fully understand all the benefits and risks associated with your surgery, to allow you to make an informed decision. We also believe in educating our patients to allow them to recognize a potential complication early, because when caught early, any complication can be addressed easier than if it is allowed to progress untreated for a long time. Even the simplest complication, if left untreated indefinitely, can become fatal. So please take the time to read this page, and your surgical package (once you decide to proceed with a surgical procedure) to properly educate and prepare yourself for the procedure.
See Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for your rights.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario requires, that all out of hospital surgical facilities comply with their strict set of rules and guidelines. These guidelines are intended to ensure patients are treated in a facility that is safe, equipped properly, and has in place protocols to handle emergency situations.
Each surgical procedure has specific risks that apply to it. Below, you will find general risks that apply to anytime a person is undergoing any form of major surgery. If you believe you are experiencing any of these, please contact your surgeon immediately or go to your local emergency room to be seen by a physician.
DVT is the formation of blood clots in your legs. This is a potential but rare possibility in any patient undergoing general anesthesia. During general anesthesia while your body is completely relaxed and you are not moving, the blood flow through the large veins in your legs slows down and may form clots. If these clots form, there is a risk that they can break off and get carried into your lungs where they obstruct the blood flow (this is called PULMONARY EMBOLISM- PE). DVT is suspected when one of your legs is more swollen than the other or if you have pain in your calf when stretching your leg. When the Pulmonary Embolism occurs, you will notice that you are short of breath, have difficulty catching your breath, and feel sharp pain deep inside your lungs on breathing. The treatment of this is to put you on blood thinners for 6 months or in severe cases use a clot-busting drug. If you think you may be experiencing any of these, please let us know right away. It is always easy to treat when caught early on, but if left untreated it can be potentially fatal. The best way to minimize this risk is to get up and walk as soon after the surgery as possibly. If you are unable to walk, wiggle your toes and ankles in order to flex your leg muscles and increase the blood flow through your legs. This is a general risk that can occur with any surgical procedure (cosmetic or non-cosmetic) This is a rare risk in breast augmentation patients because the surgical procedure is usually very short. Best way to prevent this is to use compression devices during the procedure (which Dr. Jugenburg always uses when the surgery time is expected to be longer) and early ambulation.
Pneumothorax is air within the chest cavity, but outside the lung space. When this occurs you may have sharp pain on one side of your chest, feel very short of breath, and may find it difficult to breathe. If this happens let us know immediately. The treatment is to release the air and in some cases a small drain is left in place for a short time to ensure all air has been sucked out. This complication is rare and is usually suspected only if you had surgery on your chest such as breast augmentation, or if you had liposuction around your rib cage.
if you feel your breast skin develops redness, tenderness, or there is pus coming out of your incision, notify us immediately. If caught early, Intravenous Antibiotics may be able to treat the infection. There is a risk that you may have to have the implant removed to treat the infection.
Bleeding refers to a significant amount of blood coming from your wounds and can be considered one of the most common complications after any surgical procedure. Please note that all surgical wounds can have a little bit of oozing and a small bloody stain on your dressing is not ‘bleeding’.
When a significant amount of blood is present, it either accumulated inside the surgical area resulting in significant swelling that develops rapidly, or there is a significant amount of blood oozing from the surgical wound. Significant refers to anything more than a little bit of bloody staining on your dressings. Continuous oozing that results in repeated soaking of your dressings, without any signs of stopping is a reason to notify your surgeon immediately. When significant bleeding is suspected, the first thing you need to do is to apply strong pressure and hold for at least 20 minutes.
It is NORMAL after liposuction to have red-colored fluid leak out from the incision sites and create a mess during the first 24 hrs. Unlike blood, the discharge fluid is very watery and thin. If actual bleeding is taking place, you will note the fluid is thick and clots will form in the blood that has spilled.
Fat embolism is similar to Pulmonary Embolism but instead of a blood clot it is fat that can obstruct the blood flow to your lungs. In addition to the signs of a PE, you may notice red, rash-like skin lesions forming on your extremities. Just like with PE, please let us know right away. This can happen with procedures such as a Brazilian Butt Lift where fat injection takes place. It is extremely rare in other instances.
In some instances the incision sutures may break prematurely, leading to an opening of the incision. To minimize this risk, please DO NOT pull on your scars (you may be curious to look at your scar and pull up on your skin to see the incision – this will put tension on the scar and may rip it open). If you think you may have ripped open your incision, you must notify us immediately. If left open for a prolonged time, an infection may set in.
Abdominal perforation is an injury to anatomical structures deep inside your abdomen. They present as severe abdominal pain, which is worse when moving or shaking and improves if you stay still. This pain usually becomes obvious not immediately after surgery but 24-48 hrs after. Patients have no appetite, do not pass any gas or stool. (If you are hungry, able to eat, passing gas or even having bowel movements, you do not have a bowel perforation). This is a complication that may occur during a tummy tuck or liposuction of the abdominal area. If suspected, an X-ray or a CT scan can diagnose this and if present, the treatment is to repair the injured structures. Depending on the extent of the perforation this may be done laparoscopically or it may require a formal abdominal surgery.
All opioid-based pain killers (the most common type of pain killers used after surgery) have potential side-effects of nausea, vomiting, and constipation. In some patients who are very sensitive to opioids, constipation can progress to Ileus, a situation when the bowels stop moving completely. Patient will develope increasing abdominal pain secondary to severe abdominal distention. They are not passing gas or bowel movement. Unlike a bowel perforation, their pain is not worsened with movement, and radiologic studies can differentiate the two conditions. If this happens, the treatment is to stop all pain killers and allow the bowels to recover.
An infection may happen following any surgical procedure. Warning signs of an early infection include: Fevers, Chills, Night Sweats, and localized areas of Red, Hot, Tender areas. If you think you may have an infection, it is essential that you are seen by us or another physician quickly. If caught early, you may be put on Intravenous (IV) antibiotics. If that is not effective, you may require additional surgery to wash out the infected area.
For procedures like a Brazilian Butt Lift, where there is a large amount of avascular fat (which is not perfused by blood and thus is not accessible to your immune system), a minor infection can rapidly progress to a significant infection.This may mean that you may lose some or all of the transferred fat, and you may have irregular skin/body contours.
Patients with implants (breast, pectoral, butt or other) should be treated early to prevent the infection from affecting the implant. If the implant becomes infected, it will have to be removed to control the infection. The patient will then have to wait a full 12 months before a new implant can be placed back or the risk of reinfection is high.
The staff at the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute have been carefully selected as the best in their respective fields.