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Negative Effects of Cosmetic Surgery

By Jennifer Eblin ; Updated July 27, 2017

Cosmetic surgery was designed to make the human body look better. Thousands of people have these operations done every year to change their face and body. What many of these people don’t realize is that there are negative effects to the surgery, ranging from emotional issues to cost and the risks they take when they lie on the table.

Side Effects

Though thousands of people undergo cosmetic and plastic surgery every year, there are some side effects to the procedures. This varies depending on the exact operation. Some patients have experienced headaches, nausea and prolonged pain. Another common side effect reported is inflammation surrounding the area of the body where the procedure was done. These side effects generally dissipate over time but can be bad in the beginning. Individuals may also experience bruising in areas of their body.


When people decide to undergo cosmetic surgery, they often consult a professional who gives them an estimate as to the cost. This estimate isn’t a binding contract, but a guess as to how much the procedure will cost. The actual cost can rise dramatically over this estimate, leading patients to suffer pressure to pay the entire amount even if they cannot afford it. When the cost is spread out over a payment plan, it can cause more stress.

Emotional Effects

The emotional effects on patients' well-being are one of the negative effects of cosmetic surgery. While they go under the knife to fix a problem they see on the outside, this sometimes only serves as a bandage on the larger problem. After the surgery they continue to suffer from a body image distortion. A small number of patients continue to go back to the surgeon to fix other problems they see instead of trying to find a real solution to the problem.


Risks are a negative side effect of cosmetic surgery because they’re dramatic and varying. Whenever an individual steps under the knife, they open themselves up to risks associated with the surgery. There are cases of individuals dying on the operating table, even during a routine procedure. The individual also has to worry about risks associated with an infections, allergic reactions and organ failure. These only occur in a small number of cases, but they are still something to consider.


Scarring is something that many people don’t consider when it comes to cosmetic surgery. However, in certain cases this type of surgery can leave behind lasting scars that don’t fade over time. Breast augmentation and liposuction are two of the more popular procedures that cause scarring. The surgeon can later attempt to correct the scarring or reduce the appearance, but this doesn’t always work.

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