Inform Yourself of Associated Risks & Complications
Breast lift consent forms at Toronto Cosmetic Clinic are very detailed and lengthy not because going through with a mastopexy is dangerous, but rather we want our patients to make well informed and educated decisions. Our consent forms start off going through making sure you understand the pre-operative instructions and how to prepare for surgery, they ask you detailed questions about your health for anesthesia purposes, and then go through any risks or complications associated with the surgery, just as seen below.
There are definite reactions that you will experience due to the nature of the surgery. Since the skin and other tissues are being manipulated, cut, and altered, the chest area will be bruised, swollen and sore. The degree of each will vary between patients and can become a complication in few cases, however for most patients these will all subside within days to weeks after surgery.
Potential Complications with Breast Lift Surgery
Mastopexy in most cases is performed under general anesthesia. With any type of anesthesia there can be reactions, that range from non-severe to life threatening. We do a detailed health analysis to try and rule out any complications that may occur, but in very rare occasions reactions to anesthetic can be unpredictable.
There is no doubt that you will have scars on both breasts, as it is impossible to do a proper breast lift without cutting the skin. Since the surgery is performed by a plastic surgeon the incision lines are clean and smooth. However, Incisions heal unpredictably depending on many factors, such as patient compliance with wound care and the unique healing characteristics of the patient. The size of scar will vary between patients, as certain breast types need different types of incisions to achieve a good result. On the bright side, there are a plethora of ways to reduce the appearance of scars especially at TCC.
Numbness of Skin and Areola Sensation
Since the skin is cut, nerve endings will be as well. Numbness and loss of sensation in the skin will be lost for a while, but when the skin starts to heal and the nerves start to regenerate you will have sensation back in the breast area. This can take up to a year in some cases. This is especially true if the breasts are large and required extensive dissection. Sometimes though this can be permanent in the areola.
Hematoma and Seroma
A hematoma is a collection of blood that pools in the body. After a breast lift blood can collect within the dissection area due to a cut blood vessel. It looks similar to a bruise, but it is much more sensitive to the touch and can have increased swelling. It i occurs in about 2-5% of cases and is corrected through surgery, drainage or aspiration.
A seroma a pocket of locally accumulated serous fluid between the skin and underlying tissues. Usually this can be treated through aspiration, which is a technique that drains the fluid.
The use of antibiotics after and during surgery are used to prevent any infections from occurring, however infections in the wounds can still happen. Remote infections, infections in other parts of the body, may lead to an infection in the operated area.
Those patients who abuse nicotine products (cigarettes, the patch, gum, sprays) have a higher chance of death of fatty tissue and skin tissue. Tissue death (necrosis) occurs from compromise of the circulation. Fatty tissue necrosis deep within the skin can occur which may produce areas of firmness within the skin, that can create contour irregularities.
Inability to Breastfeed in the Future
Incisions are made around the areolas, and great care is taken to preserve milk ducts, however sometimes this is not the case. It is best to delay this surgery if pregnancy is planned or desired in the near future.
When the nipples are repositioned, sometimes scar tissue can pull the nipple inwards. If there is enough blood supply in the area, this can be corrected through another surgery.
Bottoming out is a term that is used to describe breast tissue that has been displaced downwards, which rotates the nipples to face upward. It does not happen that often but occurs by gravitational pull. This can be repaired through a surgical procedure.
There is no guarantee as to the how the breasts will change over time, as the natural aging process will still occur. Remember, these are possible complications that can occur, and most are avoidable with appropriate pre-operative and post-operative care.