Risks Associated With Breast Reduction Operations
A breast reduction operation is a major procedure and therefore, as with all operations under general anaesthetic, there are risks involved. Two of the main risks associated with having a general anaesthetic are the risks of a chest infection and thrombosis in the legs. However, both of these risks are small and can be reduced further by stopping smoking and also coming off the contraceptive pill before the operation, both of which you can receive advice on from your GP.
Risks which are associated specifically with breast reduction operations include infections caused by germs living in the breast ducts. Complications such as infections can be treated with antibiotics although in some cases this can cause the healing process to slow down and may result in more prominent scarring. Scarring is another breast reduction complication as scarring on the skin around the areolas and under the breasts can stretch and become thick and red although in most cases this does settle down with time. Smoking can actually cause scars to widen and become more visible so it’s very important for your health and your recovery to stop smoking before a breast reduction operation.
As this operation involves removing large amounts of breast tissue, it’s natural that the breasts can take a while to settle down after the surgery and they may feel lumpy, tender and swollen which is completely normal. Your surgeon will be able to advise you if your breasts are still feeling uncomfortable or lumpy during your recovery as this could be an indication of fat in the breasts dying off. Another potential complication of a breast reduction operation is that the large amount of tissue removed can result in excess skin folds around the scars which may need to be removed in a further operation.
Your surgeon is there to look after you before, during and after your operation so if you have any worries at all then discuss these with your surgeon. For more information on the possible risks of breast reduction surgery visit the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons or the NHS website.