Breast Lift Risks

Breast Lift Surgery Risks

Breast lifts, like all surgeries, do carry their fair share of risks and complications. Understanding all these breast lift risks and following your surgeon's instructions during your breast lift recovery can help minimize any complications.

The risks of breast lift include both general surgical risks as well as breast lift-specific risks.

General surgery risks include:

  • Infection
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Hematoma (collection of blood outside blood vessels)
  • Seroma (accumulation of fluid beneath the skin)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung)
  • Necrosis (death) of skin or fat
  • Death

Breast lift-specific risks include:

  • Numbness in the nipple or areola (usually temporary, but may be permanent)
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Problems with breast-feeding
  • Asymmetry of breasts
  • Dissatisfaction with the new breasts' appearance
  • Changes in emotions or mood (depression)

Reducing Your Risk of Breast Lift Complications

Be honest with your surgeon and disclose all relevant information on smoking status and alcohol use. Also tell your surgeon about all the medications and herbal supplements you are taking on a regular basis. Many medications, including "all-natural" herbal remedies, can affect your body's ability to heal following surgery. Your surgeon will advise you not to take aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications because they may increase your risk of bleeding.

Your surgeon will also likely require you to quit smoking for at least a few weeks before and after surgery. Smoking can impede your skin's ability to heal and can increase your risk of skin death. Take this as an opportunity to kick the habit for good and complement your new appearance with a healthier, smoke-free lifestyle. Ask your surgeon for tips and guidance on the most appropriate ways to quit smoking before your breast lift or see our page on smoking and surgery.

Lowering the Risk of Infection After Breast Lift Surgery

Several steps can be taken to reduce one of the main risks of breast lift surgery — infection. Use antibacterial soap for several days before your surgery, and be sure to take the full course of antibiotics if they are prescribed by your doctor.

In addition, watch for these common signs of infection and call your surgeon immediately if any occur:

  • Severe pain that does not improve
  • Severe swelling
  • Redness, discharge or foul odor at the site of the incisions
  • Intense heat in the treatment area
  • Fever higher than 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit

Finding a Breast Lift Surgeon

Your choice of a qualified, board-certified surgeon goes a long way toward a successful breast lift recovery. Start your search for a surgeon now.

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    Joshua A. Greenwald, MD, FACS

    Greenwald Plastic Surgery
    166 5th Ave
    Second Floor
    New York City, NY 10010
    (914) 421-0113
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    Joshua A. Greenwald, MD, FACS

    Greenwald Plastic Surgery
    10 Chester Avenue
    Second Floor
    White Plains, NY 10601
    (914) 421-0113
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    Bahman Guyuron, MD

    29017 Cedar Road
    Lyndhurst, OH 44124
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