Breast Lift Surgery Risks and Complications

As with every surgery, there are inherent risks to mastopexy surgery. These may include general risks related to the procedure, medical risks including infection, and risks regarding your satisfaction with the result of the procedure. You must be aware of and understand all of the risks before undergoing a breast lift.

Mastopexy General Risks and Complications

An adverse reaction to anesthesia is one of the most common general risks. Even if you have had surgery and anesthesia successfully in the past, you could have an adverse response this time. You could also have a reaction to any of the other medications used during your surgery.

You may bleed excessively either during or after surgery. Other complications include a hematoma or seroma forming at the incision site. A hematoma is a pocket of blood that may be clotted or partially clotted. A seroma is a pocket of watery fluid. Treatment for either a hematoma or a seroma may include just watching and waiting for them to slowly resolve or inserting a needle to drain them.

Risk of Infection with Mastopexy

You could contract an infection, although the risk of infection with mastopexy is low. Infections usually develop within the first days after the surgery, but can occur up to 6 weeks later. Signs of an infection include redness, severe swelling, discharge, a foul smell, severe pain or a fever over 100.5F. At the first sign of any of these symptoms, call your surgeon immediately.

Loss of Sensitivity or Numbness

You may lose sensation or become numb in the area of the incisions and around your nipples. There is usually a temporary loss of sensation in the nipples and areolas. This loss of sensitivity usually subsides, but in rare cases you may permanently lose sensation in the area of the surgery.

Scarring after Breast Lift Surgery

Mastopexy will create scars. In some procedures, scarring is hidden within the edge of the areolae. But with other procedures the scars show. Excessive scarring may also occur and some people are more prone to it. Proper postoperative care can help to reduce this risk, but excessive scarring can happen even if you follow all the instructions from your surgeon.

Wound Separation

The edges of your incisions may come apart, although this happens rarely. If this occurs, keep the area clean and covered with a bandage and call your surgeon immediately. Revision surgeries are not always necessary but may be required in some cases. To prevent wound separation, follow your surgeons instructions about avoiding certain activities that can strain the breasts.

Breast Asymmetry After a Breast Lift

Your breasts may not be symmetrical after a breast lift. Your surgeon will make every effort to make the breasts as even as possible, but this may not always be possible. You should talk to your surgeon about follow-up steps in the event of severe asymmetry.

Hyperpigmentation or Permanent Bruising

Some people develop hyperpigmentation, dark spots or dark areas around the nipple and incisions. These spots usually fade within a few weeks but may last longer. Some bruising may last longer than normal. The use of warm compresses applied according to the doctor's recommendations can help to prevent long-lasting bruises by encouraging the dilation of the blood vessels and the reabsorption of the blood.

Fat and Tissue Necrosis

Whenever tissue is cut and rearranged, as with breast lift surgery, there is the possibility it could die. This is called necrosis and is extremely rare. It may be more prevalent in people who smoke, have poor circulation, or who undergo radioactive or chemotherapy treatments.

General Dissatisfaction with Your Breast Lift Results

You may not be satisfied with the results of your breast lift. General dissatisfaction may occur if you have not clearly shared your expectations and desired appearance with your breast lift surgeon. You should be as clear and detailed as possible when describing desired results to avoid being disappointed after your surgery.

You may also be dissatisfied with how the scars look. Your scars may look very prominent initially, but should fade over time. Before your surgery, when you look at before-and-after mastopexy photos, you should pay particular attention to the scarring so that you are prepared for the amount of scarring that can result.

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