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Breast Reconstruction

Side Effects of Breast Reconstruction

Some women experience side effects of breast reconstruction that vary in type and degree with each individual. Among the common side effects are an asymmetry of the breasts with one larger than the other, loss of sensation in the nipple and areola and infection. The potential for other problems arising from reconstruction depend on the procedure used: implants or the woman’s own tissues. 
The possible side effects of surgery using implants include:
  • Capsular contracture, when the scar around the implant becomes hard or tight causing pain and requiring additional surgery
  • Infection that might require removal of the implant
  • Implants may shift changing the shape of the breast
  • A leak or break in the implant, affecting one of every 10 women in the first 10 years
Some common side effects of breast reconstruction using natural tissue are:
  • A noticeable scar
  • Skin loss, partial or total flap loss
  • Chronic wounds on the chest wall
  • Bleeding into the area where the breast was located
  • A seroma, a collection of fluid under the armpit, may form, possibly needing to be drained but usually dissolving on its own
  • Temporary discomfort or pain at the incision after surgery

Locations for Breast Reconstruction