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Hereditary Cancer Info > Breast Reconstruction > Preparation and Recovery

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Preparation and Recovery

This section outlines the many options available and information about reconstructing breasts following mastectomy.

Surgical risks & complications

Every surgery has potential risks and complications; some are more serious than others. Some reconstructions risks can affect recovery. Others can affect the type of scarring and appearance of the breast reconstruction. Some possible risks include:

  • Infection or inflammation of breast requiring antibiotics or implant removal
  • Fluid build-up at the surgical site (seroma or hematoma)
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Blood loss
  • Blood clots
  • Pain (post-operative and long term pain syndromes)
  • Loss of implant or flap
  • Tissue necrosis
  • Rupture, rotation or movement of implant requiring removal
  • Capsular contruction or hardening around implant
  • There is a very rare type of cancer known as "anaplastic large cell lymphoma" that has been associated with breast implants

It is important to discuss possible surgical risks with your physician. Understand the seriousness and likelihood of these risks prior to surgery. If you experience complications or you are unhappy with your surgical outcome, it is important to have a conversation with your surgeon and have them address all your concerns. Don't hesitate to get a second opinion on the best way to resolve serious complications or unsatisfactory cosmetic results. 


Updated 12/27/16

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