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The Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery

A breast reduction surgical procedure is relatively safe if done by a qualified plastic surgeon. All surgeries however do pose a certain number of risks and it is important to be aware of these before you decide to have the surgery. Three of the most common risks are that of scarring, numbness in the breast area and infection.

Scarring

Whenever loose excess skin is removed there will be scarring. Most of the time these scars can be hidden when a bra or bathing suit top is worn. Most of the scars from reduction surgery will be found along the crease between each breast as well as around and below the nipples. The scars will fade somewhat after the surgery has been completed but they could take many months or even years to do so. If you are not okay with the idea of scars then breast reduction surgery is not for you.

Nipple or Breast Numbness

Most women do not develop numbness of their nipples or breasts after reduction surgery but it does happen to a minority of patients. Often there is a sensory change that is in fact beneficial in that nipples register more sensation due to the fact that the nerve that connects to the nipple is not stretched as it once was due to the heavy weight exerted on it by the breasts.

Nipple Loss

Sometimes reduction surgery will cause complete loss of sensation in one or both nipples. In this case the circulation to the nipples is lost and they die because of it. Sensory loss to the nipples also means that there is now the problem of an open wound, which requires treatment. Sometimes the wound will close over and heal on its own but in some cases it requires surgery to fix it.

If nipple loss does occur in a patient then a new nipple can be created either by the tattooing of a nipple or else by making a new one from skin grafts. Nipple loss after reduction surgery is most often seen in women who smoke but in rare cases does happen to non-smokers. If you are a smoker and plan to have breast reduction surgery it is strongly recommended that you quit smoking two to four weeks before the procedure to decrease your chances of developing nipple loss.

Infection

Infection can happen after any type of surgery and is common after breast reduction surgery if the patient does not follow her surgeon's instructions regarding post-operative care. Other problems that can result include fluid collections (or seromas), and problems with slow healing and asymmetry (meaning that both breasts are not even). If you are a healthy person and are young then coupled with following your doctor's instructions, you should greatly decrease your chances of suffering from any of these unfortunate risk factors.

Other risks of breast reduction surgery include not being happy with the results; small sores that appear around the nipples after the surgery; and delayed healing of the wounds.

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