Warning Signs after Plastic Surgery By Stuart Baker on June 18, 2018

Woman in compression garmentDr. Stuart Baker is a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon who has performed hundreds of cosmetic procedures for his patients. He offers a comprehensive range of cosmetic treatments, including facial plastic surgery to minimize signs of aging, and body contouring procedures to sculpt the figure and eliminate unwanted fat.

In the majority of cases, patients experience a smooth recovery from plastic surgery and are able to enjoy their enhanced physical appearance in a timely manner. However, complications are always a risk of plastic surgery, so it is important for patients to be aware of how things could go wrong during the recovery process.

Here, we go over common warning signs after plastic surgery that indicate it is time to contact Dr. Baker at his our Champaign, IL practice to let him know that you may be experiencing surgical complications that need to be addressed.

Severe Pain

It is completely normal to experience pain and discomfort following plastic surgery. In fact, discomfort is the most common side effect of plastic surgery. In normal circumstances, pain will be the most severe during the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

After the first couple days of recovery, pain should lessen, and the patient should feel slightly better each day. If pain does not follow this pattern and instead gets more intense as the days go by, it is a warning sign of a complication and should be reported to Dr. Baker. Pain that is too severe to respond to prescribed pain medication should also be reported to Dr. Baker.

Excessive Swelling

Like pain, swelling is a completely normal side effect of plastic surgery. Swelling can be pretty significant for the first week or two of plastic surgery recovery and may persist to some degree for several weeks.

To an untrained eye, it may be difficult to determine how much swelling is considered excessive. If swelling seems especially bad around the incision site or gets worse instead of better, it is important to get in touch with Dr. Baker. It is always better to err on the side of caution, because if an infection is present, it could get worse quickly.


Fever is not a usual side effect of plastic surgery. If the patient is running a temperature or experiencing chills, it is likely a sign that the body is trying to fight off an infection.

Another sign of infection is localized heat around the incision site. If the area around the incision is noticeably warm to the touch, it is usually a sign of a complication. Any fever or heat should be reported to Dr. Baker so that it can be appropriately treated.

Unusual Pus or Discharge

After a plastic surgery procedure, the incision site will have some discharge. For certain procedures, the patient will even leave the hospital with drainage tubes and bulbs to collect discharge.

If the wound is healing properly, drainage fluid should be almost clear, with possibly a slight tint of yellow. If drainage fluid is oddly colored (i.e. dark yellow) or has an unusual odor, that is probably a bad sign.

If the wound has excessive pus or discharge, that is also a potential warning sign. Again, it is always better to err on the side of caution, so if things seem even slightly off, it’s a good idea to contact Dr. Baker.

Learn More

If you are considering plastic surgery and have questions about the procedures performed by Dr. Stuart Baker, or would like to learn more about the typical plastic surgery recovery, contact us at your earliest convenience. Dr. Baker would be happy to discuss your aesthetic goals and recommend a personalized treatment plan.

Related to This

Dr. Stuart Baker

The Center for Cosmetic Medicine

Dr. Stuart Baker is a board-certified plastic surgeon with decades of experience. He has been recognized as a "master injector" by Allergan, the maker of BOTOX® Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM® products, for excellent patient outcomes. In addition to being a skilled plastic surgeon, he is also an orthopedic hand surgery specialist. His prestigious affiliations include:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons — ASPS 
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery — ASAPS 
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery — AACS 
  • American Medical Association — AMA 

Use our online form to schedule a consultation at a location near you in Monticello, Champaign, or Decatur. Or call us at:

(217) 877-9000

Get In Touch

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite