Less common complications after mastopexy

Less common complications after mastopexy

12th Feb 2021

Mastopexy is the medical term we use for the procedure performed to lift the breasts. The breast lift is performed on patients with saggy breasts hanging low on the chest wall. The appearance of the breasts can be affected by the passing of time, due to multiple pregnancies, or considerable weight fluctuations. Not all the causes of breast ptosis are known, but the even the ones we are aware of can’t be prevented. 

The breast lift is performed usually with the patient under general anesthesia, and it can take up to an hour and a half to be performed, depending on the complexity of each case. This procedure entails several incisions made on each breast, and the recovery period is important in the process of getting perky, youthful-looking breasts. 

Mastopexy is not a risk-free procedure; no surgery ever is. Among the complications that can occur afterwards are excessive bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, fat tissue necrosis, delayed wound healing and infection, among others. However, there are less common complications after mastopexy, such as:

–    Breast asymmetries

After mastopexy, the breasts can be uneven or have significant asymmetries. The asymmetries can be found in the shape of the breasts, position on the chest wall, and even the position of the nipple and areola complex. Some patients can discover very early in the recovery process that the nipples are not facing in the same direction. This is a less common complication that would require surgical treatment. The plastic surgeon will assess the asymmetries present and decide when would be a good time to proceed with the revision surgery. Generally speaking, it is best to wait for a few months after the initial surgery before undergoing the revision procedure as the breasts will need to heal after the initial trauma. To avoid complications like this one, make sure to choose an experienced plastic surgeon who is board-certified and performs this procedure routinely. 

–    Permanent changes in sensation

While some changes in sensation on the nipple and the breasts are normal after the breast lift, in many cases they are temporary, and the patient will regain normal sensation within a few weeks or months. In rare cases, a permanent change or loss of sensation can occur in the nipple or the breasts, especially the areas where the incisions were placed.

–    Nipple necrosis

Nipple necrosis is a rare complication that can occur after undergoing mastopexy. When the periareolar incision is made to allow the plastic surgeon to detach the skin envelope of the breasts to re-center the mammary gland, the temporary lack of blood flow in the area could lead to nipple necrosis after the procedure. When this complication occurs, the patient will notice that the nipples will have a dark purple appearance. It is important to contact the plastic surgeon if you notice signs of nipple necrosis.

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