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Breast Reconstruction Risks and Safety | Atlanta Plastic SurgeryBreast reconstruction cosmetic surgery is a complex procedure, and like any other surgery, it will involve certain risks. During the initial consultation, the surgeon will discuss the potential risks and complications of the procedure to help the patient make an informed decision. Double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Wright Jones provides breast reconstruction to patients in Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA, and surrounding communities.

Short-Term Risks

Adverse Reaction to Anesthesia

Breast reconstruction plastic surgery is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia. Patients with pre-existing medical conditions related to the heart, nervous system or circulation are at an increased risk of complications.

The patient should fully disclose her medical history to the surgeon so that appropriate decisions can be made. Common side effects once the patient is brought out of anesthesia include nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision.

Infection

The risk of infection will exist in any type of surgery, including breast reconstruction. Antibiotic medications may be prescribed to prevent or treat infections. In case of a persistent infection after the surgery, the patient should promptly consult with the surgeon.

Common signs of infection include a change of color or excessive redness around the breast incision, fluid or pus discharge from the surgical site, or high fever. Maintain a sterile environment will minimize the risk of infection.

Bleeding

If the patient has a history of bleeding, or she is on blood thinners or other such medications that may affect clotting, it may increase the risk of bleeding during or after the breast reconstruction surgery.

The surgeon will ask the patient to refrain from using certain medications for at least two weeks prior to the surgery to minimize the risk. In case of excessive bleeding during recovery, the patient should immediately contact the surgeon.

Long-Term Risks

Implant complications following breast reconstruction with breast implants may occur at any stage due to capsular contracture, or deflation, leakage or damage to the implant. Flap complications may include delayed healing and blood clotting. Patients should carefully weigh their options and choose a surgical technique in consultation with the breast surgeon.

Certain vascular complications may also occur in the long run in a few cases. These include:

  • Poor blood flow to the reconstructed breast
  • Relocated tissue failure, causing dead tissue
  • Reduced abdominal strength
  • Weakened back, arm, or shoulder

Experienced cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jones receives patients from Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA, and nearby areas for breast reconstruction and various other surgical and non-surgical procedures.

Scarring

The extent of scarring will vary according to the type of breast reconstruction technique used. In case of flap reconstruction, scarring will be higher than implant reconstruction because two different incision sites are involved.

In addition to the breasts and nipples, scars in case of flap reconstruction may occur in donor sites such as the abdomen, navel, buttocks, back or another area. Surgical scars will gradually fade away, but will not entirely disappear. Most patients will find that breast reconstruction benefits outweigh the limitations such as scarring.

See all plastic surgery procedures that Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Wright Jones performs of the face, nose, body, and breast in and around Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA and surrounding areas.

Breast Reconstruction Procedure Steps | Marietta Plastic SurgeryBreast reconstruction cosmetic surgery procedure can be performed using different techniques. The steps involved in the procedure will vary according to the technique chosen and whether the surgery is performed along with mastectomy or at a later stage. Double board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Wright Jones provides breast reconstruction to patients in Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA, and surrounding communities.

Anesthesia

Breast reconstruction is a major plastic surgery procedure involving the use of general anesthesia. The patient will remain unconscious through the procedure and will not feel any pain or be aware of the surgery taking place.

Furthermore, she will not have a recollection of the surgery when she is brought out of anesthesia. The patient’s medical condition and history of drug allergies will be assessed before she is considered for general anesthesia.

Incisions

Following anesthesia, the surgeon will begin the procedure by placing incisions. The location and size of incisions will depend on the type of surgical technique being used for breast reconstruction.

Flap techniques will require more incisions because tissue relocation from one area to another will be involved. Implant technique will require the fewest number of incisions. Recovery period and scarring will be impacted by the size and number of incisions.

Creating New Breast

Breast mound will be created by using implant or flap reconstruction as pre-determined during the surgical planning.

Implant Reconstruction

This procedure will occur in multiple stages. At first, a balloon expander will be placed underneath the skin and chest muscle to stretch the area. Liquid will be added to the expander over the next few weeks and months to stretch the skin adequately to fit the implant size. Once the stretching is done, saline or silicone implants will be surgically placed.

In some cases, both these steps may take place together. Permanent skin expanders may also serve as an effective implant, eliminating the need for the second stage of surgery. The cosmetic surgeon will determine the appropriate treatment option in consultation with the patient.

Flap Reconstruction

This technique will involve removal of surplus tissue from a donor site and relocating it to the breast area. Blood vessels in the transplanted tissue will be re-attached to the new ones in the breast area. The new tissue will serve as the breast mound. In some cases, an implant may also be placed.

This technique will cause more scarring because of the higher number of incisions, and will also involve more recovery time. Dr. Jones receives patients from Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA, and nearby areas.

Sutures and Bandages

Once the breast surgeon has created a natural looking and symmetrical breast mound, the incisions will be closed with sutures and covered with bandages. The surgeon will provide instructions about how to care for the sutures and bandages to minimize infection risk.

Strain to the incision areas should be avoided for about six weeks to ensure safer and faster recovery. If traditional sutures have been used, the surgeon will remove them in about a week or 10 days after the procedure.

See all plastic surgery procedures that Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Wright Jones performs of the face, nose, body, and breast in and around Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA and surrounding areas.

Breast Reconstruction Recovery | Stockbridge Plastic SurgeryBreast reconstruction is a major cosmetic surgery procedure, and its recovery will involve both physical and emotional aspects. The time taken for physical recovery will depend on whether one or both breasts are reconstructed and the type of surgical technique used for reconstruction.

Dr. Wright Jones is a double board certified plastic surgeon providing breast reconstruction and other surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Jones will discuss the recovery process during the pre-operative consultation. Patients in Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA, and surrounding communities have an opportunity to receive breast reconstruction from Dr. Jones.

Recovery Time

If the surgeon uses flap reconstruction technique, the recovery period will be typically longer than in case of implant technique because flat reconstruction involves healing in multiple areas. A patient can usually expect to fully recover in about six to eight weeks following breast reconstruction plastic surgery.

Recovery may be longer if an additional procedure such as nipple reconstruction is involved, or some complications arise after the surgery. Patients should be prepared to follow the surgeon’s instructions carefully in order to achieve safe and speedy recovery. Most patients can resume their regular activities in about two to three weeks.

Post-Surgical Phase

For the first few days, the patient will experience some soreness in the treated areas and feel tired quickly. Temporary drain tubes will be placed under the breast skin to collect excess fluid. Sutures and drains may be removed together in one to two weeks.

Bruising and swelling will gradually subside from the second week, and temporary numbness or loss of sensation in the treated areas may occur. The cosmetic surgeon will prescribe pain meds to keep the patient comfortable in the early phase of recovery.

Post-Surgical Care

The surgeon will provide detailed instructions for post-surgical care, which should followed diligently. These include:

  • Regular short walks at home in the early phase to improve blood flow.
  • No strenuous activities, lifting of heavy objects, sports, or sexual activity for about one month.
  • Maintaining dryness in the incision areas and frequent change of bandage.
  • Proper wound cleaning to minimize the risk of infection.
  • Massaging the skin and scars once the wounds are healed.
  • Wearing a support bra and avoiding under-wire bra.

Dr. Jones receives patients from Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA, and nearby areas for breast reconstruction surgery.

Scarring

Mild scarring is likely to occur in areas such as the breast, nipples, navel, and donor sites such as abdomen, buttocks or back, depending on the surgical technique used. Flap reconstruction technique will cause more scarring. Scars typically fade over time, but they are not completely eliminated. Cosmetic benefits of breast reconstruction typically outweigh the limitations such as mild scars.

Emotional Recovery

It is natural for a woman to take some time to emotionally adjust with the newly reconstructed breast. She should have realistic expectations and should know that the new breast will not feel identical to the natural breast. However, with the passage of time the breast appearance will become more acceptable.

See all plastic surgery procedures that Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Wright Jones performs of the face, nose, body, and breast in and around Atlanta, Buckhead, Stockbridge, Marietta, GA and surrounding areas.