Every surgical procedure is associated with specific risks and benefits. The risks of breast reduction surgery include but are not limited to the following:
The risk of significant bleeding following breast reduciton surgery is very low. Should you notice the sudden onset of swelling, bruising, or drainage of one or both breasts, you should contact the office immediately. Bleeding may require a return to the operating room for exploration and treatment of the bleeding vessel. Untreated collections of blood may result in infection.
The risk of infection is also extremely low. Infection is associated with swelling of the breast, pain, redness of the skin, fevers or chills, and sometimes drainage from the incisions. Most infections occur within several days after surgery and can be treated with oral antibiotics.
A seroma is a pocket of clear fluid that sometimes develops in the breast after surgery. A persistent seroma may result in an eventual infection. While small collections may resolve spontaneously, larger amounts of fluid may require drainage or additional surgery.
Although rare, your breast and nipple sensation may increase or decrease after breast reduction surgery. While you should expect some numbness of both areas for several weeks, it will generally return as your swelling resolves.
Rarely, patients may require a secondary breast reduction if they have more children or experience a significant weight gain.
Pain of varying intensity and length of time may occur and persist following breast reduction surgery, although this is very rare.
There is relatively little good data on the success rates for breast feeding following breast reduction surgery, but in general because the ducts to the nipple are not being cut, patients should still be able to breastfeed.
All patients aged 35 or older or who have a family history of breast cancer are required to obtain a mammogram prior to breast reduction surgery. It is recommended that you wait until at least 6 months after surgery prior to having another routine mammogram, and that you inform the mammographer that you have had breast surgery. You should continue to perform a monthly self-examination of your breasts.