How to Avoid Complications After Breast Surgery Procedures

How to Avoid Complications After Breast Surgery Procedures

Nobody likes to deal with problems after having Breast surgery. Cosmetic surgery is aimed at altering your appearance to suit your cosmetic goals. However, there are many cases of poor results out there. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimise the chances of unsatisfying results and avoid common breast surgery mistakes.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeremy Hunt has completed hundreds of breast surgeries in Australia.

Guide to Breast Surgery

Standard Breast Surgery

Common Types of Breast Surgery Procedures

The most common types of breast surgery procedures include:

1. Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty with Implants

Breast augmentation mammoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to increase the size of your breasts. If you want bigger breasts, this might be the right procedure for you.

2. Breast Reduction Mammoplasty

Having extremely large breasts that do not fit the rest of the body and lead to problems like back and neck pain, skin chafing and infections can be a problem. Breast reduction mammoplasty surgery aims to reduce these problems by reducing the breast size.

3. Breast Lift Mastopexy

Breast lift, or mastopexy surgery, is often suited to women who are bothered by loose or excess breast skin. The procedure typically involves removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissues.

4. Breast Asymmetry Surgery

Breast Asymmetry surgery is done to even out your breasts. It sometimes involves one or a combination of the following procedures: breast augmentation mammoplasty, reduction mammoplasty, or lift mastopexy. It won’t make the breasts perfectly symmetrical but aims to reduce the present breast asymmetry. In other words, the goal is to make your breasts look like sisters, not twins.

5. Fat Transfer to Breasts

Fat Grafting to Breasts can help augment and shape the breasts. This can also be added to other breast surgeries.

Tips to Avoid Breast Surgery Complications

Regardless of the type of surgery, people make mistakes in the process and end up with unsatisfying or compromised results. It’s important to know that every surgery comes with risks, and there’s no way to completely eliminate them. But there are things you can do to reduce your chances of a poor outcome or complications, and it’s important to educate yourself so you can make a responsible and educated decision.

Here are a few steps to avoid common breast surgery mistakes:

1. Choose a qualified and experienced Plastic Surgeon

You need to pay close attention to the process of selecting a surgeon. Be an informed consumer of cosmetic surgery. Be aware of their medical training and surgical qualifications. Look them up. If they are a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon. The surgeon will have FRACS (Plas) and likely belong to ASPS, ASAPS and ISAPS.

Once you know that your surgeon is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, you need to be sure they have a special interest and expertise in Cosmetic Procedures. The right surgeon will also have the title of Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Cosmetic Surgeons, General Practitioners, Dentists and Skin Doctors cannot use this title. On the other hand, a cosmetic surgeon isn’t accredited by RACS (Royal Australian College of Surgeons). Cosmetic Surgeons are not recognised by AHRPA or have hospital operating rights.

Choose wisely and you can minimise (but not completely eliminate) the complications associated with surgery.

Avoid medical tourism & educate yourself on the dangers of medical tourism

We have seen a lot of cases when the procedures performed overseas have a poor outcome. It often comes as a part of the risks associated with medical tourism. There are dangers associated with the doctor’s training in an overseas hospital. In such cases, patients will have little to no resources in case something goes wrong.

Some of the common dangers one can experience are:

  • Serious infections, medication variance, bacteria
  • Flying too early post the surgery
  • No follow-up care or recourse
  • Challenges with communication/ language barriers
  • Questionable quality of implants

It is better not to risk your health in an overseas location where you practically don’t have any control over the circumstances. Here are a few reasons why medical tourism for your breast surgery can turn out to be a very poor choice:

  • Water Bacteria

There are always risks associated with water bacteria by having surgery overseas. You will have to take a shower post-surgery and clean your wounds. Overseas water may carry germs that your body isn’t used to and can mess up your system. Some of the common problems include serious infections and gastro-related vomiting.

  • No Guarantees

Medical care overseas is not guaranteed. You also need to remember that you won’t be able to access follow-up care overseas. It essentially translates into zero resources in case of a poorly performed procedure.

  • Flying too Soon

Flying immediately after a breast cosmetic surgery can be dangerous, is not recommended and can put you at a higher risk of complications. You will also be missing out on follow-up opportunities and constant care.

3. Choose a qualified Plastic Surgeon in your location

If you have done your research regarding the training and experience of the surgeon, you are helping to increase your chances of a pleasing outcome from surgery. Here are a few reasons why:

  • A surgeon’s reputation is at stake every single time they see a local patient. Hence, they will likely care more about you than someone overseas who has no accountability
  • Your plastic surgeon will also be able to offer post-surgical care that is necessary for a good recovery. They are more accessible whenever you need them, from annual reviews to follow up appointments to check-ups

Make sure that the surgeon has a well-known, long-established clinic, as well as hospital privileges. They will play a huge role in the long-term results and satisfaction of your surgery.

Dr Jeremy Hunt - Top Plastic Surgeon - Sydney

Make sure that your surgeon is heavily invested in knowledge and open to sharing their work with peers in the cosmetic industry and contributing to surgery research.

Ensure that the surgeon chooses an Accredited Hospital in Australia for performing the surgery. Check the hospital for high-quality assurance standards. That include: sterilisation, patient care, nursing ratios, infection control measures, pain management strategies, and proper medications including antibiotics.

4. Consider Your Reasons for Getting Breast Surgery

The first and perhaps the most important element of cosmetic surgery is understanding why you are getting it done. Where does the motivation come from? Are you doing it because it makes you happy or does it solve a particular problem? Answer this questions to avoid common breast surgery mistakes. This self-realisation will also help you with the following aspects:

  • Getting the right type of breast surgery
  • Getting surgery for good reasons so there aren’t any future regrets
  • Selecting a properly qualified surgeon
  • Choosing the facility for the surgeon
  • Choosing the timeline for the surgery
  • Enable you to learn about the procedure, possible side effects as well as the experiences
  • Manage your expectations
  • Follow all the pre and post-care instructions
  • Cope better with the recovery
  • Have realistic expectations with the treatment
  • Have a positive mindset for the surgery
  • Ensure that you are emotionally in the right space to get the surgery done

5. Follow all the Pre-Op Instructions

There is a lot more that goes into the outcome of the surgery than selecting a good surgeon. You need to be diligent about following the recommendations of the surgeon when it comes to pre-op instructions. Some of the things you need to keep in mind are:

  • Quit smoking and drinking at least a month prior getting the surgery done as it can hinder the healing process
  • Plan ahead for your recovery- take at least two weeks off from work, stock up on food, meal prep in advance, prepare your recovery room, and arrange for someone to help you around the house for the first few days post-surgery
  • Stay clear of any blood-thinning medications and herbal supplements for at least a week prior to the surgery
  • Get all your lab testing done as advised by your surgeon
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything at least 8 hours before the surgery
  • Fill in your prescriptions in advance that you will be required to use post the surgery

6. Follow all the Post-Op Instructions

Post-Op Care is as important as the surgery itself. Here is a list of instructions you need to follow rigorously:

  • Stay clear of smoking and alcohol till you are fully healed
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications and herbal supplements
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home on the day of the surgery
  • Take all the pain medications and antibiotics on time to help with discomfort and avoid any infections
  • Take care of your incisions and make sure to keep them clean and dry at all times
  • Do not skip on your follow up appointments under any circumstances. They allow your surgeon to see that you are healing at the right pace
  • Eat a healthy and nutritious diet that is low in sodium and drink enough water
  • Do not take a bath, dive into swimming pools or hop into saunas till your incisions are fully healed. Settle for a quick shower instead
  • Wear compression garments to help with swelling and discomfort

FAQS About Breast Surgery Complications

Here is a list of frequently asked questions regarding breast procedures:

What are the chances of breast implants going wrong?

  • While the majority of the breast implants procedures are very successful, about 1 per cent of patients undergoing the surgery experience some kind of complication.

What are the silent dangers of breast implants?

  • Some of the risks and complications of breast implant include implant complications, capsular contracture, rupture, deflation of saline implants if used, BIA-ALCL, connective tissue disease, systematic symptoms, breast pain, hematoma, seroma, skin rash, extrusion, necrosis, visibility, and wrinkling/ rippling.

How do they fix uneven breasts with surgery?

  • There are multiple ways to fix uneven breasts depending on the difference between breasts. Commonly used procedures are breast implants (augmentation mammoplasty), breast lift mastopexy and breast reduction mammoplasty, or a combination of these.

How do you prevent poor breast augmentation results?

  • There is no way to completely prevent complications, as every surgery has risks. But you can minimise these risks. First things first, you need to choose a qualified and experienced surgeon and then stick to all the pre and post-op instructions given by your surgeon. It eventually comes down to these three factors. If you experience fever, redness, excessive swelling, bleeding or any signs of infections, reach out to the surgeon immediately.

What happens when breast implants are removed and not replaced?

  • If your implants are removed and not replaced, you are likely to experience a breast volume and skin mismatch causing breast laxity or ptosis.

How do you know if your body is rejecting breast implants?

  • One of the key symptoms of your body rejecting a breast implant includes continuous swelling or pain around your breast implant. Other symptoms include joint and muscle pain, chronic fatigue, memory and concentration problems, breathing problems, sleep disturbance, rashes and skin problems, dry mouth and dry eyes, and anxiety. Contact your surgeon immediately if you experience these symptoms.

How do you know when breast implants need replacing?

  • It is recommended to get your implants replaced after every 10 years. If you haven’t gotten them replaced in a while, you need to look out for the following symptoms: ruptured implant, deflated implant, the asymmetry between the breasts, firmness in the implant, breast tenderness, implant sitting too high or too low, abnormal implant shape, pain, discomfort, or long-lasting loss of sensation.

What happens to breast implants after 30 years?

  • Breast implants are designed to last more than a decade. However, the chance of rupture increases by one per cent each year.

Further Reading about Breast Implant Surgery

About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

dr jeremy hunt

Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery in Australia. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.

Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.

Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.

Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education

Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.

Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

If breast reduction mammoplasty is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.

About The Author

Dr Jeremy Hunt FRACS - Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Jeremy Hunt is one of Australia’s leading specialist plastic surgeons. With over 20 years’ experience and thousands of patients, Dr Hunt is the smart choice for your plastic surgery or non-surgical procedure.

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