Breast Lift Complications and Risks You Need to Know
Although risks are to be expected with any surgery, the more complicated the procedure, the greater the risk of a complication occuring. Please read our information page on potential complications of Mastopexy. General risks and complications that apply to any surgery include adverse effects of anesthetic. Although General Anesthesia is generally considered more risky than other types of anesthesia, with a good anesthetist that may not be true. Adverse effects to medications may also ben an issue. Medications can cause allergic reactions which present as sudden rashes, difficulty breathing, increased or decreased heart rate, hives, wheezing, anxiety, fainting, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc.
Loss of Sensitivity or Numbness after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
Loss of sensitivity is a common, although temporary, risk of mastopexy. Nerve endings are cut during breast lift surgery, so it takes time until they regenerate and sensation starts to return. This can take several months. However, permanent sensation loss in the areola (nipple) area or breasts can and may happen.
Scarring Irregularities after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
While scars are going to be a reality, there is also a risk of hypertrophic scar tissue (red, raised lump on the skin), keloids (an overgrowth of tissue that grows beyond the boundaries of the original incision) or inner scar tissue. If you smoke or have a history of abnormal collagen formation or scarring, you may have irregular scarring. A regimen of Steri-Strips directly post-op, switching over to scar gels and silicone gel sheeting after suture removal, may be helpful.
Wound Separation (Dehiscence) after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
The separation of the wound edges may be a risk of breast lift in some cases, especially in smokers and diabetics. If this occurs, keep the area very clean and contact the clinic. Revision surgeries are usually not necessary. Expect the healing process to take longer for a patient with separation than it will for a patient with normal wound healing.
Asymmetry after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
Nobody is perfectly symmetrical. Neither are you. If you look at your pre-surgery pictures you will notice small difference between your breasts. Your breasts may be asymmetrical following surgery as well. Although your Dr. Jugenburg will attempt to correct the asymmetry, your body is not made of modeling clay. It also heals differently than in other patients.
Hyperpigmentations Or Permanent Bruising after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
Permanent hyperpigmentation (dark spots) from bruising are a risk of breast lift. Hyperpigmentation should subside in a matter of a few weeks but may stay for longer than expected. Do not get discouraged as there are treatments for this rare complication. Intense Pulsed Light treatments can break up the residual blood in the bruise and allow it to be resorbed by the body. Simple applications or warm compresses after you’re healed can assist in the dilation of the blood vessels and the resorption of the blood.
Blood Loss after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
Bleeding can occur after surgery and may require you to go back to the operating room to have the bleeding stopped. In very rare cases, blood transfusions may be necessary. You should cease taking any anti-coagulants, which may include aspirin and aspirin-containing medications, vitamin E, garlic tablets and more.
Hematoma and Seroma after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
Any sudden change in contour or color of your skin should be reported immediately. A hematoma is a collection of liquid or clotted blood in a body cavity that can cause pain, scar tissue, infection and more. A seroma is a collection of the watery portion of the blood in a body cavity or space. A seroma can also cause pain and scar tissue.
Fat and Tissue Necrosis after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
If the fat becomes necrotic from lack of blood supply, it tends to turn orange and drain from the incision; however, it can spread and worsen. If the tissue becomes necrotic, immediate treatment is necessary. You must have the tissue removed before it spreads, develops a major infection. Necrosis of the breast tissue, breast envelope and or incision line is a very rare mastopexy complication, but there are increased risks in those with compromised wound healing abilities, a history of smoking, circulatory problems, and diabetes. The chances of necrosis are also increased after radioactive/chemotherapy treatment.
Infection after a Breast Lift / Mastopexy
Infections usually show symptoms three days after the surgery. Signs of infection usually include redness, severe swelling, discharge, foul smell, severe pain that develops several days after your surgery and does not improve, intense heat of the area, a fever over 38º C.
General Dissatisfaction with Breast Lift Results
There is also a risk that the results of your breast lift will not live up to your expectations. Scars will be a definite issue and you must take this into account beforehand. They will also appear worse before they get better, so prepare yourself. Patience and scar products can help.