Breast Reconstruction Surgery Risks And Safety

Breast Reconstruction Surgery Risks And Safety | Jacob Bloom MDBreast reconstruction plastic surgery is often an elaborate and complex procedure. It will involve certain risks, similar to any other surgical procedure.

At the time of the initial consultation process, the surgeon will inform the patient about the potential risks associated with this procedure to enable her to make a judicious choice.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom provides breast reconstruction to patients in Chicago, IL, and surrounding locations.


Short-Term Risks

Adverse Reaction to Anesthesia

The surgeon will typically undertake the breast reconstruction plastic surgery with the patient under general anesthesia. Patients with heart circulation or nervous system conditions related to pre-existing medical issues are at a higher risk for complication development.

The patient should freely inform her complete medical history to the surgery so that appropriate decisions can be made. The common side-effects after the patient gains consciousness are nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision.



Any surgical procedure has an inherent risk of infection development, including breast reconstruction surgery. The surgeon will prescribe antibiotic medications to the patient to prevent or treat infections.

In case there is a persistent infection after the reconstruction procedure, the patient should contact her surgeon immediately.

Some indications of infection following this procedure include excessive redness or color change around the breast incision, discharge of pus or fluid from the site of the surgery, or high fever. To reduce the risk of infections, it is vital to maintain a sterile environment.



The patient may experience an increased risk of bleeding during or following the reconstruction procedure if she has a history of bleeding or presently takes blood thinners or other medication that can affect blood clotting.

The surgeon will ask the patient to not use certain drugs for at least two weeks prior to the cosmetic surgery to reduce the risk. The patient should reach out to her surgeon promptly if she experiences excessive bleeding during the recovery period.


Long-Term Risks

At any stage after a breast reconstruction surgery with implants, the patient may face complications due to capsular contracture, deflation, leakage, or damage to the implant. The complications with the flap technique of reconstruction include a longer recovery period and blood clotting.

Patients should assess their options thoroughly and choose the most suitable surgical technique for their needs in discussion with their cosmetic surgeon. At times, patients may experience vascular complications in the long-term, including:

  • Restricted blood supply to the reconstructed breast
  • Relocated tissue failure leading to dead tissue
  • Reduced abdominal strength
  • Weakness in the back, arm, or shoulder



Based on the breast reconstruction techniques used, the scarring will differ. The patient will experience more scarring in the flap reconstruction approach in comparison to an implant procedure as each of these approaches involves the placement of incisions in different areas.

Scars may develop in donor areas such as the back, navel, butt, abdomen or another area along with the nipples and breasts in the flap reconstruction technique. However, an experienced surgeon will ensure that these scars remain inconspicuous by placing incisions in discrete sites.

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom receives patients from Chicago, IL, and nearby areas for breast reconstruction.