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Breast Reconstruction Surgery Complications & Risks

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With all surgery there can be expected that some risks and complications are to be associated. It is necessary that you familiarise yourself with these risks and complications to ensure that you reduce the risk of them occurring, or if they do occur you notice these straight away.

Risks from surgery

Due to the nature of surgery you will find that as general anaesthetic is used, once you come round from surgery you may experience a groggy feeling. The anaesthesia can sometimes cause nausea and dizziness which will wear off after a period of time. Some people may have a reaction to the anaesthesia, if this occurs your surgeon and doctor will deal with it professionally and will reduce the effects for you as much as possible. You will experience pain from the incisions used during surgery, you will find that these may be at risk of infection, however if you follow advice given to you from the health professionals then this risk of infection will be reduced. |You may be at risk of excess bleeding during the surgery, which may require you to have a blood transfusion. For any excess procedures or measures the surgeons and doctors will have to go to if a complication occurs, you will need to sign a declaration form which states that you agree to them performing any procedure which can deal with a complication.

After effects and risks

You will of course as with all breast surgery experience scarring, you should at all times ensure that you keep your bandages on or your support bra during day and night, this is to ensure the scars do not stretch and heal correctly. You will find that to begin with your scars and red and lumpy, a few weeks later they will turn purple and then eventually they will appear white, this process can be sped up by using specific healing creams, you should speak to your doctor about any they may recommend. You may also be at risk of being unhappy with the results, this can be reduced by being as open and honest as possible with the surgeon, but sometimes it is hard to ensure that you receive the outcomes you request, this can sometimes be due to ensuring your breasts match as well as any complications which may occur throughout the procedure. Depending on which type of surgery you have undergone you will have different risks associated with them. You may find that with implants that your scarring is thicker and will take longer to heal than if you have the surgery which uses your own tissue to reconstruct your breast. However with the surgery which uses natural tissue you may find that sometimes your blood vessels id reattached to the tissue become unresponsive then this will reduce the blood supply. If this is a substantial amount of blood which is effected you may find that additional surgery will be required.

How can I reduce these risks?

During your hospital stay any pain or complications which occur will be dealt with through pain relief or immediate assistance. This of course will help and keep your mind at ease; however once you have been discharged from hospital you may worry about what to do if something goes wrong. You will be provided with usually a 24 hour emergency line which can deal with any problems you have, and you will be given strong advice and guidance to follow during your weeks of recovery. This advice will range from what activities you should and shouldn’t partake in as well as how to look after your scars, you should at all times follow these instructions to ensure that risks and complications are reduced as much as possible, and that your safety is ensured throughout!

As well as familiarising yourself with the risks and complications which are associated with this procedure it is also important to recognise what dangers may be associated with the surgery. You can therefore weigh the dangers up against the positives and this may help with assisting in our decision regarding breast reconstruction surgery. Some people may of course find it scary when looking into the dangers, but it is worth recognising that all the medical staff around you will be trained to a high standard and will know how to deal with any dangers which might occur.

What Dangers are associated with Breast reconstruction surgery?

This surgery is considered as a safe type of surgery; however dangers are associated with all types of surgery so it is worth noting these. You may find that during surgery you can lose a lot of blood, this will usually be dealt with using a blood transfusion, this is very rare, but you must ensure that you sign a form allowing a blood transfusion should this danger occur.  You may be at risk of having a reaction to the anaesthesia this can often be serious but will be dealt with immediately. With surgery there is also a risk of death, this is of course rare and only happens when a severe complication occurs.


If the surgery you are undergoing uses the insertion of implants methods you should understand that all implants at some stage will begin to leak, this will be resolved with additional surgery to immediately remove the implant.

Free flap or attached flap surgery

With this surgery you will have increased scarring as tissue is also used from elsewhere on the body. You may find that this can increase your likeliness of infection, as you have more wounds to look after. If infection is not noticed as soon as possible it can become serious and lead to complex issues, this means that you should understand the signs and likelihood of infection, so that you are able to spot he infection early. Infection may occur in both methods, so ensuring you are aware of the signs is important. As Breast reconstruction surgery is often considered a relatively safe surgery there are not many dangers which can be linked, the main area of dangers is due to the fact that the procedure is completed during surgery, your doctor and surgeon will deal with any dangers effectively and immediately.

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