Breast augmentation complications – bleeding and infection

Breast augmentation complications do exist and can be scarey.  The complications of bleeding and infection are some of the most concerning risks that exist in any surgery. Cosmetic breast enhancement surgery is no different in terms of these risks.

The breast augmentation complication bleeding, may occur during the plastic surgery or happen after the surgery is completed.  If it occurs after the surgery, it will usually be within the first few hours of the surgery. Any significant bleeding during a surgery is almost always controllable. A more common problem is bleeding that happens after the surgery is over. This type of bleeding complication may result in one of the breast mounds becoming bruised and  markedly larger than the other. When this occurs, the women will usually need to go back to surgery. There may or may not be more pain associated with the involved side.

In some cases, the degree of bruising can be indicative of a need to go back to surgery.  If the breast implant was placed under the muscle, the bruising will appear along the rib cage and on the underside of the breast. Usually a significant bleeding complication that occurs soon after breast augmentation will make the breast very large and turn color over a majority of the breast. In order to prevent or be able to diagnose a serious bleeding problem, some plastic surgeons will place a drain in the wound that exists the body through the skin. If this drain starts draining thick blood, then there is usually a problem. Fortunately, this type of bleeding complication which would require another immediate operation, is very rare.

A bruise that develops a few days after a breast enhancement plastic surgery is usually not the same problem that is described above. This delayed bruise is usually from a smaller blood vessel that is close to the skin or in the fat of the breast or chest wall. This type of bleeding problem will usually not cause any harm and does not imply a more serious complication. It is still concerning to the women though. These smaller bruises that occur after breast augmentation surgery, will usually resolve in a few days, and can be seen around the incision site of slightly off to the side of where the incision was made. Again, this type of bruise is from a smaller blood vessels that was cut during the incision, or while tunneling to create the pocket for the breast implant to be placed. These small vessels may actually spasm down and stop bleeding during the surgery but when the spasm ends, the blood vessel will open and start bleeding. This can occur with arteries or veins.

The breast augmentation complication of  infection is also scarey. This dreaded  augmentation complication will almost always require the breast implant to be removed. There are two types of breast implant infections. The first will usually occur during the first week after the breast enhancement surgery. With this type of breast implant infection, the woman is usually sick feeling. She has a fever and the breast and its skin are tender and red. The redness may look like a sunburn. In this serious situation, the breast implant must be taken out and left out for a few months prior to replacing the breast implant. The second type of breast implant infection is a more smoldering type of infection which has a totally different course. This woman may not have any real complaints initially but over time, the breast may become red, and the skin may become thin. In this type of low-grade infection, the real symptom occurs when the implant breaks through the skin. Also in this situation, the breast implant should be removed for a few months prior to replacing it. This second type of infection will usually result in some loss of breast tissue and a scar from where the implant came through the skin. Fortunately again, breast implant infections are very rare. Antibiotics will be given for a few weeks depending on what type of bacteria is identified to have caused the infection. In some cases though because antibiotics may have been started prior to the surgery, no bacterial type can be identified. In these cases a different antibiotic may be used for a longer period of time.