Breast Reduction Surgery
Risks and Complications

List of possible risks & complications:
Anesthesia reaction
Breastfeeding problems
Boxy or Flat Breast (normally occurs post-operatively as a temporary condition)
Change in nipple color
Dissatisfaction with breast size (too small or too large)
Fat Necrosis
Hematoma (pooling of clotted blood; risk is 3-4%)
Infection (signs of infection: warmth, redness, soreness, swelling)
Irregularities in position of nipples and areola
Keloid (heavy scar)
Nerve Damage
Nipple loss (1%)
Nipple numbness
Permanent numbness
Reactions to medications
Sensory change (4-7%)
Seroma (pooling of watery blood)
Skin irregularities
Skin necrosis
Slow healing
Visible scar
Wound separation

Small differences in shape or size of the breasts are not uncommon following breast reduction surgery.

Fat Necrosis
"Fat necrosis is more common in larger resections. A study by Strombeck reported a 16% incidence of fat necrosis in obese patients having resections of more than 1000 g. However, the incidence of fat necrosis has been reported as low as 0.8% in 371 patients undergoing an average resection of 870 g per breast."
Source: Daane SP, Rockwell B, Breast Reduction Techniques and Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Aesth Plast Surg 1999;19:293-303; Mandrekas AD, Zambacos GJ, Anastasopoulous A, Haspas DA. Reduction mammaplasty with the inferior pedicle technique: early and late complications in 371 patients. Br J Plast Surg 1996;49:442–6; 35. Strombeck JL. Reduction mammaplasty by Strombeck technique. In: Goldwyn RM, editor. Plastic and reconstructive surgery of the breast. Boston: Little, Brown & Co; 1976:195–209.

Nipple Sensation
Most patients will have some change in nipple sensation following mammoplasty. This is usually temporary but could take months to return.

Wound Separation
Sometimes the incisions will pull apart. This does not require additional surgery. It is treated with moist dressings. However, if this occurs, recovery time is much longer.

Information provided is for general education about traditional breast reduction, male breast reduction, breast reduction by liposuction and other cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. This information is subject to change. Smart Breast does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, and is not responsible for any actions resulting from the use of this information. General information provided in this fashion should not be construed as specific medical advice or recommendation, and is not a substitute for a consultation and physical examination by a physician. Only discussion of your individual needs with a qualified physician will determine the best method of treatment for you. All board certified plastic surgeons listed are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Board certified plastic surgeons are verified by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

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