What are the Cosmetic Risks and Complications of Breast Reduction Surgery?

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As well as medical risks, breast reduction surgery carries cosmetic risks and complications. When these develop, you can become extremely unhappy with the results of your surgery to the extent that you wish that you did not have it. The best way to limit these risks is to choose an experienced and reputable surgeon.


All surgery carries risks of scarring and with breast reduction surgery, these scars will be visible. The surgeon will do their best to limit the visibility of scarring by placing the incisions in areas where they are less noticeable. However, in some cases you could become extremely unhappy with the appearance of your scars after breast reduction surgery.

If you have a history of smoking or scarring then your scars may be more visible or irregular. You may be told to use certain products after surgery such as scar gels, or silicone gels. These will give you more of a chance that your scars will heal normally and that they will not be too visible.

Wound separation also greatly increases your chances of developing abnormal scarring. This is where the wound edges separate from each other before they have healed. If this happens, you should make sure that you keep your breasts clean and should seek immediate medical advice from your surgeon. You may require surgery to re- close the wound. If you suffer from would separation, it will take much longer for you to heal. You are also more likely to develop larger and more visible scars.

Unequal Breast Size or Shape

Despite the fact that your surgeon will try to ensure that your breasts are symmetrical after your breast reduction surgery this is not always possible. During the healing process, it is possible that your breasts will become asymmetrical in shape or size. The best way to avoid this is to choose a surgeon with plenty of experience. You should always ask to see before and after pictures so that you can judge your surgeon's work.

Sometimes the breasts may appear asymmetrical immediately after the surgery and during the first few months of healing. This often corrects itself once the swelling has gone down. If you are unhappy with the results of your surgery, you should speak to your surgeon about it. Although everyone heals differently and it is not always possible to get perfect results, your surgeon has a duty to give you the best possible results. If they fail to do this because of their inexperience or mistake, they are at fault. However, this will not cause your breasts to become symmetrical so you should always do as much research as possible into your surgeon.

Nipple Sensitivity or Numbness in the Nipples

Some people experience heightened sensitivity in their nipples after breast reduction surgery. This can make them extremely tender and painful particularly during your periods. This sensitivity is normally temporary and will go once the swelling has gone down and the healing process is complete. There are however, some cases in which the nipple sensitivity is prolonged.

A more common complication is numbness or lack of sensitivity in the nipples. This is as a result of the nerves, which are severed during the surgery. The feeling of numbness or lack of sensitivity normally reverses itself within six months by which point the nerves have repaired themselves. However, in some cases this lack of sensitivity in the nipples can be permanent as the nerves fail to heal.


It is possible that dark spots will appear during the healing process. This is normally a temporary complication caused by bruising. However, some people find that this fails to disappear. If this is the case, you should speak to your surgeon who may be able to recommend treatments such as warm compresses or laser treatment.

You should report any discolouration immediately as it might indicate a blood clot. This can cause scarring, pain, and infection and as a result will require treatment. In the case of blood clots, you may also notice that your breasts have become bumpy and should seek medical advice if this is the case.

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