Understanding the Risks of Plastic Surgery | Dr Richard Sackelariou

Risks and Complications of Surgery

Double Bay, Sydney & Hawthorn East, Melbourne
Sydney 1300 661 362    Melbourne 1300 264 811

Understanding the Risks and Complications of Surgery

It is important to understand your risks of surgery are and what you can do to minimise or prevent them. However, it’s important to state that some complications and surgery risks may occur randomly, despite having chosen the best surgeon, top hospital and best practice procedure and wound care. Despite evidence-based medicine, all surgery carries risks.

Risks of Surgery

There are general risks associated with surgery, as well a plastic surgery, include:

General Anaesthesia Risks

Prior to surgery, you will be provided with the details of your anaesthetist. This will allow you to discuss any specific concerns you may have. Most healthy patients respond well to general anaesthesia.

Bleeding (Hematoma)

Sometimes following surgery, a collection of blood may pool at the surgical site. Should this occur, a visit to the operating theatre may be necessary to remove the hematoma or other potential bleeding problems.

Fluid Build-Up (Seroma)

There is a risk of an accumulation of fluid or seroma formation.


Should an infection develop following surgery, your surgeon will prescribe antibiotics as appropriate and monitor your progress closely.

Delayed Wound Healing

Delayed wound healing may occur. This is often more likely in patients who are overweight, have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, or who don’t follow good nutrition. It is also found in smokers, or where an infection develops. Your surgeon and nurse coordinator will manage the healing process. They will be able to take the necessary steps if delayed wound healing occurs.


All surgery leaves a scar, and plastic surgery is no different. To minimise scarring for some procedures but not all, you may be recommended for Fraxel Laser scar treatments following surgery.

More Serious and Life-Threatening Risks

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition. It can occur when a blood cot occurs in a vein located deep inside the body, typically in the thigh or lower leg. It is important to inform your surgeon right away if you suspect you are experiencing symptoms of DVT so appropriate medications and therapies can be prescribed immediately.

Additional Surgical Risks related to individual factors or lifestyle

There are some additional risks from having surgery that may apply to certain patients. Risks and potential complications have higher risks rates due to:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity or overweight/high BMI which can also increase your risks
  • Underlying health conditions, allergies or sensitivities
  • Substance use or lifestyle factors like smoking or bacteria-laden environments or improper wound care
  • Smoking, which can cause higher complication risks at all stages of your procedures

Smoking and Surgical Risks

Your overall health will impact your healing processes, including your inflammation levels. However, smoking is one of the greatest risk factors when it comes to plastic surgery.

Smoking interferes with your health as well as your skin health and its healing capacities. Further, it is recommended that you are open with your surgeon regarding your smoking habits, even if you are a closet or social smoker. It is generally recommended you do not pursue surgery until you have quit smoking for an extended period of time. You must NOT Smoke after surgery for at least 4 to 6 weeks to allow the wound to heal properly.

Breast Surgery Risks

Breast procedures come with their own particular complications. Common side effects of breast surgery include discomfort, skin sensation changes, bruising and swelling. Most resolve over a period of weeks but skin sensations changes can last longer. More serious breast surgery risks can include:

  • Changes to Nipple sensitivity can occur. You may lose nipple sensation permanently; however, this is very rare. Most patients lose nipple sensation temporarily and as nerve endings start to re-connect underneath the skin, sensations will return to the area
  • Nipple Loss/Necrosis is a rare complication that occurs often in smokers. It may affect all or part of the nipple
  • Your ability to breastfeed may be affected
  • Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injected agents
  • Poor scarring, including keloid scarring (more common in patients with higher skin pigmentation/darker skin)
  • Breast implant issues if you have a breast lift with an augmentation using breast implants (skin wrinkling, implant rupture)
  • Capsular contracture if having a combined breast lift with augmentation
  • Asymmetry (uneven breasts or nipples)
  • A risk of BIA-ALCL – a rare type of lymphoma associated with textured breast implants

Dr Sackelariou will cover your surgical risks and potential complications in detail during your consultation as part of the informed consent process.


About Dr Richard Sackelariou Plastic Surgeon

Dr Richard Sackelariou Plastic Surgeon Facial Surgery expert

Dr Richard Sackelariou MBBS FRACS(Plas) is a Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive  Surgeon in Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney, Australia.

He is a highly sought-after Plastic Surgeon for precision procedures like nose reshaping, tummy tucks, breast surgery including transaxillary incision methods, implant removal/replacement and Breast Lift procedures,

He is particularly known for his signature surgeries – neck lift, facelift and eyelid rejuvenation procedures. He also performs expert cosmetic injections for facial rejuvenation.

Patient’s love his caring manner, his dedication to excellence and his extensive expertise in surgical planning for a natural-looking, harmonious result.

Next Steps – Book a Consultation with Dr Sackelariou

Best Plastic Surgeon in Sydney Botox Top Plastic Surgeon Melbourne

If you are considering reconstructive plastic or cosmetic surgery then Dr Richard is the specialist plastic surgeon for you. Dr Sackelariou can assist you in achieving your desired image, helping restore you to a more youthful or confident self.


  • A Referral from your GP or from your specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a cosmetic consultation without a GP Referral although no Medicare rebates are claimable without one.
  • You can schedule a confidential consultation with your selected Specialist Surgeon by paying the $300 consult fee in advance.
  • Email us below or Call to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment


  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • You may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes


If you would like to know more about how Dr Richard can help you, please contact us today.

Phone Melbourne 1300 264 811 or Sydney 1300 661 362  to enquire or request a consultation.

Got A Question?

Ask any questions you might have regarding a procedure and voice any concerns you may have.

Sydney: 1300 661 362
Melbourne: 1300 264 811


Contact Dr Sackelariou

Contact Details



  • 759 Burwood Road, Hawthorn East, Victoria 3123