Common Complications after Breast Augmentation Surgery

What are the common complications after breast augmentation surgery?

Complications after Breast Augmentation SurgeryIn general, breast augmentation is an extremely safe procedure. Complications after breast augmentation surgery basically fall into the category of general surgical risk and what we call adverse outcomes.

  • What are the main general surgical risks of breast augmentation surgery? General risks of surgery include things such as reactions to anesthesia, infection, bleeding, blood clot formation, and pulmonary embolus. Of these risks, blood clots and pulmonary embolus are the rare but possibly lethal complications of any type of surgery.
  • What is a pulmonary embolus? A blood clot can form in one of the major veins in the body during and or after surgery, presumably due to changes in circulation from laying still and having an operation. Blood clots can also form during long tips in either a plane or car. If the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, a part of your lung’s circulation is blocked. If it is a small clot, you may simply have some breathing problems or chest pain. If it is a large enough clot, you may be at risk of not getting enough oxygen. The risks of blood clot seem to be drastically reduced when patients stay warm during surgery, keep massaging boots on during surgery, and walk around early and often after surgery. This is possibly why patients who are discharged to home from the surgical center seem to have a decreased risk of pulmonary embolus. For this reason we ask all our patients to move their legs and walk frequently.
  • Is there any way to lower my risks of complications after breast augmentation surgery? Yes. It is best for anyone over age 50 to have a full exam with an internist before they consider any elective surgery. This is so health maintenance issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer screening can be updated. It is important for you also to share all your medications with the medical staff. Medication that cause thinning of the blood should be discontinued one week prior to surgery. Many vitamin supplements and herbal medications can also cause changes in your blood, so these should always be discontinued as well. Finally, you need to be sure that you are in good general health and infection free at the time of your surgery so you can maximize your immune system to give you the best surgical outcome possible.
  • What is an adverse outcome in breast augmentation surgery? Adverse outcomes include things such as breast asymmetry, dissatisfaction with implant size, nipple numbness, ripples, breast pain, capsular contracture and implant leak.
  • How can I limit my chances for adverse outcomes in breast augmentation surgery? Our research suggests that problems such as capsular contracture can be lessened if you limit bleeding and swelling problems during surgery. This underscores the importance of being off blood thinners, ensuring you have proper blood pressure control, and perhaps limiting vigorous activity in the first week after surgery. Limiting the development of infection by staying healthy, getting plenty of rest, and avoiding contaminated water are also important for avoiding development of capsular contracture.

Questions about Complications after Breast Augmentation Surgery?

If you have any questions about Complications after Breast Augmentation Surgery and would like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to contact my office.

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