Breast Reconstruction Risks

Risks of breast reconstruction surgery

  1. All surgery involves risk. You will be under general anesthesia.
  2. You will have slightly more than a 5% risk of one or more of the following: pain, infection, bleeding, hernia, implant rupture and/or tissue breakdown.
  3. If transplanted tissue (from your abdomen) breaks down because of inadequate blood supply apparently a rare complication the dead tissue (necrosis) needs to be trimmed and the chest area closed. This is another surgery.
  4. Transplanted tissue can form lumps called fat necrosis. Lumps in the breast area tend to cause anxiety. If they don't go away, more surgery will be required to determine that cancer is not present.
  5. You will have scarring. Some may be less obvious than another.

Reducing Your Risks with Breast Reconstruction

  1. Understand and agree to the risks you are taking.
  2. Ask your doctor lots of questions and do not stop asking until you fully understand the answers.
  3. Look at a full range of pictures so that you can prepare yourself for various outcomes.
  4. Talk to members of your support group and find out what they know or have experienced.
  5. Visit a naturopath and ask them to recommend nutritional supplements for pre- and post- surgery.
  6. Be sure that your reconstruction timing fits with your cancer treatment.
  7. Plan on a full recovery period. Do not rush back to work or obligations.
  8. Remember that you can change your mind at any time in the process.
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Breast Reconstruction Risks