New Body Cosmetic Surgery Center, Pasadena, CA

Estimated Death Rate for Cosmetic Surgery Related Procedures

The following data is a rough estimate for various cosmetic surgery procedures and natural and cesarean section deliveries:

Surgical Procedure
Death Rate
Highest Calculated Death Rate Lowest Calculated
Death Rate
Dr. Yoho's Guess as to the True Fatality Rate
Overall hospital death rate for all general surgeries 1/500 operations result in death (actually, Veterans Administration statistics are much worse)   1/500 (but remember this includes elderly and sick patients)
Esophagectomy operations 1/5 operations   Often sick and elderly
Pancreatic resection operations 1/6 operations   Often sick and elderly
Mitral valve replacement operations 1/7 operations   Often sick and elderly
Anesthesia (just due to anesthesia effects alone during surgery) 1/13,000 die (recent landmark paper surveyed all anesthesia literature) 1/300,000 die 1/13,000 (but remember this includes elderly and sick patients)
Liposuction 1/5000 (500,000 patients were in this study, published in 2000, using survey of plastic surgeons. General anesthesia was used for many cases and probably several procedures were performed at the same time for many patients.) 1/100,000 (and also, dermatologists claim no or virtually no fatalities to date using their dermatologic protocols) 1/5000 if general anesthesia is used and multiple procedures performed; possibly 1/15-30,000 if general anesthesia is not used; 1/several hundred thousand if pure local anesthetic is used and low volumes are suctioned. Note: this is my speculative opinion based on these poor quality studies.
"Tummy tuck" or abdominoplasty 1/600 die 1/3000 die 1/2-3000 fatality rate
Facelift 1/1000 die Few studies ever performed. 1/1000 to 1/10,000. This is an older group of course
Eyelid improvement surgery (blepharoplasty)     Blindness due to bleeding is thought to be 1/10,000 to 1/40,000
Breast implant(s) No death studies have ever been published.  Only for reconstructive surgery of the breast have statistics been revealed. 1/10,000-1/20,000 This is a guess based on deaths in Los Angeles area in the past few years.
Cesarean section 1/1000 1/3000  
Normal vaginal delivery 1/10,000 1/10,000 1/10,000

*References will be available for these approximate figure on this website by 7/1/03.

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