BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY: POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS BY SYDNEY SURGEON
Back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, posterior headaches, interference with sports are just some of the symptoms that make so many women seek advice about breast reduction surgery. The good news is that the scientific literature is replete with papers showing that patients undergoing breast reduction surgery are amongst the most satisfied. The reasons would seem clear, the surgery is very effective in dealing with the symptoms described and bringing about an objective resolution to them.
Common Breast Reduction Complications
But like most surgeries performed at our Sydney or Canberra clinics, considerations have to be given to its complication profile. As with all procedures there are general and procedure specific complications. So wound breakdowns, infections, postoperative bleeding, DVTs and possible PEs fall under the category of general complications.
Risks of Breast Reduction Surgeries in Sydney
The most dreaded complication of breast reduction is loss of nipple areolar complex (NAC). This is recorded in the literature to be relatively rare, approximately 0.9%-1.0%. The most common reason for this is due venous insufficiency. Like all tissues NACs have both an arterial supply and venous drainage. The venous system though more numerous in channels and venous passageways is of lower pressure so it can be easily kinked. Large reductions, NACs that are beyond 34 cm from the sternal notch prior to surgery, narrow pedicles can all be implicated in it. If the nipple is lost as a result of breast reduction surgery then reconstructive options need to be considered. Once the wound has healed a nipple can be reconstructed and tattooed onto the skin with fairly excellent outcomes.
Outcomes May Differ After Complications
Sensation in the NACs may be lost forever as a result of the surgery. Although numbers reported are both unreliable and varied in the literature in the absence of objective measures, there is a good a rule of thumb, approximately 5-10% will have permanent loss of sensation, 25-30% will have permanent altered sensation and the rest will not notice any changes. The timeline for a final assessment of sensation is traditionally at 12 months when no further neural changes are expected.
Any surgery on the breast may result in interruption of lactiferous ducts and therefore may result in inability to breastfeed. The rates of this are not reliable in the literature.
Scar formation, fat necrosis, asymmetry