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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.

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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.