Complications Of Breast Reduction Surgery

For women with large breasts, reduction mammoplasty can be a gratifying. However, like any surgery, breast reduction is also associated with a fair number of side effects and complications. The most common side effects of breast reduction surgery include:

Scarring: Scarring is inevitable and despite the fact that the surgeon tries to make the incision inconspicuous, the incision does turn into an obvious scar. The scars usually fade but do not permanently disappear. One should avoid sunlight to prevent the scar from darkening.

Keloids: Women who have dark skin have a great tendency to form keloids. These unattractive skin lesions are very difficult to treat. Any manipulation of keloids simply leads to worsening of the scar.

Infections. Infections are not that common after a mastectomy but do occur. The superficial skin infections can readily be treated with antibiotics. The deeper skin infections may need some minor surgery to drain the pus and revise the skin incision.

Nipple sensation: This is a common occurrence in many women. In some women the numbness along the nipple subsides over a few months but in many cases, the numbness is a permanent sensation.

Bleeding: The breast is a very vascular structure and sometimes, there may be excessive bleeding. The bleeding can be significant and requires re exploration of the breast to control the blood vessel.

Blood clots: Like most surgery, clots can form in the legs and migrate to the lungs. All physicians take great precautions to prevent blood clots in the legs. Nevertheless, blood clots do occur sometimes.

Skin necrosis: Sometimes the skin edges fail to heal and the skin break downs. This is common in smokers.

Asymmetry: In some cases, there may be breast asymmetry. The shape, size and contour of the reconstructed breast may be very different compared to the other breast. Most of the asymmetrical changes are minor in nature. When the changes are major, revision surgery is required.

Skin discoloration: Rarely, skin changes do occur along the incision line and worsens if there has been prolonged sun exposure soon after the surgery.

Swelling: Frequently after the surgery, there is swelling in and around the breast. This swelling usually subsides over the next few weeks and is not permanent.

Bruising: Bruising around the breast is common after surgery. It is a transient side effect and resolves over the first 1-3 weeks.

Fluid build up: In some cases, there may be excess fluid build up in the breast and may require removal with a needle. In some cases, this fluid build up is recurrent and annoying.

Hardening: Sometimes, the breast hardens up after the surgery. This is particularly true when an implant has been placed.

Inability to breast feed: This is a common complaint by most women.

Pain: Some women complain that the surgery is painful and that the pain is lingering on. These women have prolonged pain which is hard to control

Allergies: Allergies to drugs and tape can occur

Anesthesia: the risks of anesthesia are always present with any surgery

Revision surgery:
In some unlucky women, revision surgery may be required for some reason. This occurs in less than 3% of females

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