What are possible complications of breast reconstruction surgery?
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
The 2 most common complications of any surgery are Bleeding and Infection. This is also true for breast reconstruction surgery. Other complications may include hematoma, seroma, wound dehiscence, necrosis of tissue or the nipple-areolar complex, deep venous thrombus, pulmonary embolus, asymmetry, requirement for secondary surgery.
In breast reconstruction, there are possible complications of bleeding and infection. Infection can be very serious if there is an implant in place, since this is foreign tissue for your body and it can be difficult to clear an infection with an implant in place. With an implant, another possible complication is scarring or capsular contracture, where some firm scar tissue develops around the implant.

With autogenous reconstruction, there is the possibility of having a problem with the blood supply to the flap, which could result in a second surgery with loss of the flap. Your flap will be monitored closely initially after surgery to make sure the blood supply is intact. If a muscle flap from the abdomen is used, there is a possibility of hernia or abdominal bulge.

Continue Learning about Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Women who have aggressive forms of breast cancer, or who are at high risk of developing the disease, sometimes choose to have a mastectomy, the surgical removal of one or both breasts. Some patients may then choose to have surgery ...

to reconstruct their breasts to restore their form and shape. During this procedure, doctors can replace any skin, breast tissue or a nipple that they may have removed during the surgery. (If you still need radiation therapy after your mastectomy, your doctor may suggest you wait for reconstructive surgery until after you finish treatment.) Breast implants, filled with either silicone or saline, can be used to reshape your breast, or you can even use your own tissue, a procedure called flap surgery. Both breast implants and flap surgery are complex procedures, each with their own risks; they may require second surgeries to position the breasts correctly. Most insurance companies will cover this type of reconstructive surgery. Learn more about breast reconstruction with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.