Breast Reconstruction Risks And Safety
Breast reconstruction cosmetic surgery is an intricate procedure. Similar to other surgical procedures, a breast reconstruction surgery also entails certain risks.
During the pre-op consultation, the surgeon will discuss the potential risks associated with this surgery to ensure that the patient makes an informed choice. Khan Plastic Surgery, led by board certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Farah Naz Khan, provides breast reconstruction to patients in Dallas, Texas and surrounding locations in the amazing state of Texas.
Short Term Risks
Poor Reaction to Anesthesia
Breast reconstruction surgery is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia. Patients that have an existing health condition, specifically conditions related to circulation, heart, or nervous system, are at a higher risk of developing complications. The patient should inform the surgeon about their full medical history as well as current health condition so that they can make an appropriate decision.
The risk of developing infections is inherent to all surgical procedures including the breast reconstruction cosmetic surgery procedure.
The surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to treat or prevent an infection. If the patient notices any signs of infection post-surgery, they should immediately consult with their surgeon. Common signs of infection can include excessive redness surrounding the breast incision, changes in color, high fever, or pus or fluid discharge from the site of the surgery.
The risk of bleeding after or during the breast reconstruction procedure is higher in patients who have a history of bleeding, take blood thinners or other medicines that can impact blood clotting.
The surgeon will instruct the patient against using specific medications for a minimum of two weeks before the reconstruction surgery. If the patient experiences significant bleeding during the early healing period, they should promptly inform the surgeon.
Long Term Risks
Complications after a breast reconstruction surgery can happen at any stage due to deflation, capsular contracture, and leakage or harm to the breast implant. Flap technique complications can lead to a delay in recovery and blood clotting. Patients should judiciously weigh the alternatives with a plastic surgeon.
Some vascular complications can happen in the long-term in certain cases. These complications can include:
- Inadequate blood flow to the reconstructed breast
- Dead tissue due to failure of relocated tissue
- Decreased abdominal capacity
- Weakness in the shoulder, back, or arm
Risks Associated with Flap Reconstruction Technique
Certain complications that can arise due to a flap reconstruction breast surgery are:
- Higher risk of infection in the implant reconstruction
- Reduced abdominal strength, specifically with the pedicle flap technique
- Risk of developing hernias
- Need for extra recovery time
The extent of the scarring can vary according to the breast reconstruction technique utilized. The scarring in case of flap technique will usually be higher. This happens because this technique requires two different incision locations.
Scarring with the flap technique can occur not only in the breasts and nipple areas, but also at donor locations such as the navel, abdomen, buttocks, back, or other areas. While surgical scars never entirely fade, they will diminish in appearance after some time.
Several patients find breast reconstruction surgery beneficial despite certain drawbacks such as scarring. Committed board certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Farah Naz Khan receives patients from Dallas, Texas and nearby areas.