Risks

The procedures that help lift and reshape the breast are both safe and reliable. Complications, even minor, are very uncommon.

This is worth repeating...

Breast lift surgery is both safe and reliable.
Complications, even minor, are very uncommon.

All procedures have risks however and so do breast lift procedures. During your initial consultation with Dr. Zelt, he will review all pertinent risks to ensure you are well informed before proceeding.

So what issues might you encounter following breast lifting (mastopexy) surgery including breast asymmetry and nipple and areola surgery?

  • Bleeding
    Although very unusual, it is possible to experience a bleeding episode during or after breast surgery. It is usually noticed in the recovery room or rarely during the first day home. A return to the operating room may be required to drain the accumulated blood (hematoma) should it be large or uncomfortable.

  • Bleeding and infections are uncommon

  • Infection
    An infection following breast surgery is also very unusual. If you notice some redness and tenderness near your incision and surrounding breast in the days following your procedure, please contact Dr. Zelt’s office for a follow-up visit to assess the situation. You may be treated with antibiotics.

  • Scarring
    The scaring from breast lifting varies from patient to patient. It is rare than the scar around the areola is problematic and the vertical scar usually fades nicely. In rare cases however, abnormal scars may result. Scars may be of different colour than surrounding skin and unattractive. A revision of your scars may be required and can be performed under local anesthesia in most instances.

  • Change in Nipple and Skin Sensation
    Some change in nipple sensation is not unusual immediately after surgery. Usually this resolves after several weeks or months. Partial or permanent loss of nipple and skin sensation may occur occasionally.

  • Asymmetry
    Minor degrees of postoperative asymmetry are common. In fact, almost all patients have some asymmetry between their breasts preoperatively as well. Differences are sometimes related to differences in the form of the chest wall itself – the ribs and underlying muscles. An obvious postoperative subcutaneous tissue asymmetry may require additional surgery, usually under local anesthetic.

  • Breast Feeding
    Breast feeding may be affected by some forms of major breast lifting or breast asymmetry correction. Women wanting to breast feed may want to wait until after having their children before considering breast rejuvenation surgery. Breast feeding is not possible following most cases of inverted nipple correction. Some women who have undergone breast rejuvenation surgery are able to breast feed. Others supplement with bottled formula if their volume is insufficient postoperatively.

  • Inverted Nipples
    After any type of breast surgery, internal scarring may pull the nipple inwards during the postoperative period. While this is rare, it can easily be corrected under local anesthesia should it persist and be bothersome.

  • Contour Deformity
    Visible irregularities of the breast and chest skin may occur following surgery or liposuction. Improvement may require a touch-up procedure.

  • Residual Skin
    When large amounts of skin are removed during the lifting procedure, folding of the skin and the nipple-areola may occur if the skin envelope does not shrink and conform as expected. This usually resolves over the following year postoperatively. Should the problem persist, a minor touch-up procedure under local anesthesia may be required.

  • Inadequate Resection
    A “near final” result can be evaluated by approximately 6 months postoperatively. Occasionally some residual tissue remains. If present and noticeable, this may require correction under local anesthesia.

  • Pigmentation Changes
    Mild hyperpigmentation of the breast skin following surgery. This is a normal process of wound healing. It is rare to persist past 6 months and extremely uncommon after 1 year. It can be permanent in some very rare cases.

  • Allergic Reaction
    Local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations have been reported but are fortunately very rare. Systemic reactions which are more serious may result from drugs used during surgery and prescription medicines. Allergic reactions may require additional treatment. Please notify our offices of any allergies you may have.

  • Breast Disease
    Current medical information does not demonstrate an increased risk of breast disease or breast cancer following breast lift surgery or the use of breast implants.

  • Long Term Results
    Subsequent alterations in breast shape may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, or other circumstances not related to the breast lift surgery. Breast lift surgery does not prevent normal age related changes to your breasts. You may at sometime require a revisional surgery.

  • Unsatisfactory Results
    While every effort will be made to reach the goals set in your preoperative consultation, you may be disappointed with the results of surgery. This can result because of asymmetry, contour irregularities or perhaps residual breast tissue. You may have persistent pain following surgery. Additional surgery may be required to improve your results.

  • Additional Surgery Necessary
    Additional surgery or other treatments may be necessary to improve an unsatisfactory result or to manage possible complications.

Even though risks and complications occur infrequently, the risks I have just listed above are particularly associated with breast surgery including breast lift, breast asymmetry, nipple and areola surgery and breast implants. Other complications and risks can occur but are even more uncommon.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee or warranty expressed or implied on the results that may be obtained from having breast rejuvenation surgery.

If you have any questions regarding risks, or if you would like to meet Dr. Ronald Zelt, please visit our contact page.