Breast reconstruction with flap surgery is a major procedure and carries with it the possibility of significant complications, including:
- Changes in breast sensation
- Prolonged time in surgery and under anesthesia
- Extended recovery and healing time
- Poor wound healing
- Fluid collection (seroma)
- Tissue death (necrosis) due to insufficient blood supply
- Loss of sensation at the tissue donor site
- Abdominal wall hernia or weakness
Radiation therapy delivered to the skin and chest wall may pose complications during healing if it's given after breast reconstruction surgery. Your doctor may recommend waiting until you're finished with radiation therapy before proceeding with breast reconstruction.
Feb. 26, 2014
- Breast reconstruction after mastectomy. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/moreinformation/breastreconstructionaftermastectomy/index. Accessed Aug. 13, 2013.
- Nahabedian M. Breast reconstruction in women with breast cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 13, 2013.
- Breast reconstruction: Helping you become whole again. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reconstruction.html. Accessed Aug. 18, 2013.