Risks of Breast Lift

Before undergoing any surgery, each patient must be aware of the risks involved.

Infections can show up within the first few days after the surgery. Wash your breast and torso with an anti-bacterial soap for a few days before surgery. Your surgeon will cleanse your skin with a Betadine containing solution right before an incision is made. Signs of infection include redness, severe swelling, fever, discharge, foul smell, and severe constant pain that develops one week or later after your surgery.

Another risk of breast lift surgery is an increase or decrease of nipple sensitivity. Though temporary, nerve endings are affected during breast lift surgery. The patient has to wait for the nerves to regenerate and for sensitivity to return. This can take several months. However, in some cases, there may be permanent sensation loss in the areola or breasts.  In general, nipple sensation is not permanently affected.

It is possible to develop an allergic reaction to a medication given during anesthesia.   Negative reactions to medications may include sudden rashes, difficulty breathing, increased or decreased heart rate, hives, wheezing, anxiety, fainting, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc. Medications that can cause an allergic reaction include anticonvulsants, barbiturates, penicillin or other antibiotics, Novocain, Xylocaine, sulfa drugs, and some pain medications.

With regards to scars, there is always 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. In smokers or those with a history of abnormal collagen formation or scarring, there may be irregular scarring. A post-operative regimen of Steri-Strips, scar gels and silicone gel sheeting may be helpful.

Wound separation is another risk in breast lift surgery that can delay recovery time. In such cases, keep the area very clean and immediately contact the surgeon. Revision surgeries may be necessary in some cases. Wet bandages can moisten wound edges and encourage wound healing. Another possible approach is to either excise the wound edges and  re-suture the incision.

If you notice any sudden change in contour or color of your skin, be sure to inform your surgeon 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, on the other hand, is a collection of the watery portion of the blood in a body cavity or space.   Both of these conditions should be brought to the attention of your doctor and treated as soon possible.