What are the risks associated with breast reduction?
The most common complication following breast reduction surgery is hematoma, a collection of blood under the skin. This occurs in about one out of a hundred patients. It usually requires return to the operating room on the same day to remove it. Other unusual complications include infection, delayed healing of incisions, excessive scarring, and partial or complete loss of the nipple, the latter extremely rare. A more significant potential problem is the development of leg vein clots (deep venous thrombosis or DVT) that can lead to serious problems such as pulmonary embolism. While very rare, risk factors include age over 40, being overweight, and a previous history of clotting problems. Compression calf boots pump blood through the legs during surgery to reduce risk, as does early ambulation. Fortunately, the vast majority of patients do not have any complications from breast reduction surgery.