Tips To Cutting the Risks and Complications of Breast Surgery?

Doctor Answers 10

Reduce risk of complications with breast implants

There are a few common complication with any plastic surgery, and fortunately we have ways of limiting the risk of these problems.  Some of the complications are related to healing, which are medical in nature, and others are related to appearance, and are more aesthetic in nature.

For the healing complications, your surgeon will take many measures to reduce risks of problems such as bleeding,  infection or anesthetic-related problems. Your surgeon should go over the details with you prior to surgery.

Aesthetic related implant complications can occur-- such as asymmetry, implant visibility or rippling, excessive drooping, or problems with capsule formation over time.   The chance of such problems happening varies  from surgeon to surgeon.  I strongly believe, and there is evidence to support this, that selecting the proper size implant for the size of the patient's chest wall reduces the long-term risk of problems additional surgeries.

In my practice, as well as in other leading practices, we select the proper size implant based on the width of the chest and breast rather than only focusing on the volume in cc's.  Many patients, and indeed many surgeons, are so focused on the size of an implant in cc's, that they end of placing implants that are far too wide for the overlying skin. These patients have a higher risk of drooping over time, visible rippling, asymmetry, and unnecessary revision surgeries.

Remember, you need to look great not just for a few months or a year,  but  for  years and decades. Work with a skilled, compassionate and reputable surgeon to choose an implant that has the highest chance of both looking great and lasting safely.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Avoiding complications after breast augmentation

Excellent question. First make sure that your surgery is being done by a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Next, listen to your surgeon and follow all directions carefully.  Avoid taking any medication that can thin your blood and increase your risk of bruising and bleeding during and after surgery such as aspirin. Take your medications only as directed including antibiotics if they are prescribed.  Avoid strenuous activity after surgery and, if your implants are under the muscle (recommended) keep your elbows below your shoulders for 7-10 days after surgery.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

What Can I Do After Before Having Breast Implant Surgery to Cut the Risks and Complications?

1.Read, read, read. Educate yourself on the surgery and understand that just because it appears in chat rooms or blogs does not make it applicable to you.

2. Pick the right surgeon. See several members of The American Society of Plastic surgeons and learn what each has to say. Then decide which one you are most comfortable with.

3. Pick the smallest implant you can live with and remember:
- Bigger is NOT better - Bigger = Heavier and your breast will thin and sag quicker with implants
- breast implants do NOT last a lifetime but will have to be removed sometime in your life
- Do not allow the surgeon to pick your implants NOR impose your desired size on your surgeon. You should work together with your surgeon to pick your best implants.

4. Do not take medication or supplements which cause prolonged bleeding time (Aspirin, Advil, Vit E, Garlic etc) to prevent bruising, bleeding and scarring around the implants.

5. Quit smoking.

6. FOLLOW YOUR SURGEON'S INSTRUCTIONS. Plastic Surgeons LOVE getting great results. They want you to do well and be happy with their work. It makes little sense to allow a surgeon to cut you but to disobey his after surgery instructuions.

Peter A Aldea, MD


Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

How to reduce risks and complications

Ensure that you are in good overall health prior to surgery and followed the preoperative instructions. Communicate any questions or concerns prior to surgery so you are clear what the surgery will entail. Prepare your environment and life to minimize stress and responsibities during your recovery. Follow your surgeon's postoperative instructions.  

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Decreasing Risks Of Breast Implant Surgery

It seems somewhat obvious but the simplest way to decrease the chances of an uncomplicated recovery after your augmentation is to follow your surgeon's suggestions.  This includes refraining from smoking and avoiding those activities which would adversely affect wound healing.  The things that you can do pre-op include being in a good state of health and selecting an implant which is not larger than your breast width.  This latter thing is the most common source of malposition, bottoming out, etc.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast augmentation complications

Good  question! Before having  breast augmentation surgery:

1. Make sure you are doing the operation for the right reasons.  Become well-informed about the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure.

2. Pick your surgeon carefully (well-trained experience board-certified plastic surgeon). 

3. Communicate your goals carefully with your surgeon (I think pictures are helpful).

4. Plan adequate recovery time and help.

5. Follow postoperative instructions carefully.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Lower risks for Augmentation

There are some logical things you can do like staying away from medications that might increase your bleeding risk.  This may be true for some vitamins (especially Vit E) and nutritional supplements.  If you are having your implants placed under the muscle then I suggest to my patients that they stop doing any chest exercises at least a week before.  I also suggest to patients that they take one of their prescribed pain pills before they go to sleep a few days before surgery- many patients get nauseous from some pain medicines and I think it's better to work out these issues before surgery and possibly prescribe something different for these patients.  Being nauseous or vomiting can raise your blood pressure and increase bleeding complications in the early post-operative period.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


stop all blood thinners like aspirin and advil. do not go binge drinking the night before or do anything that will cause any liver damage. there are some herbal medicines that help with swelling. find an ABPS surgeon

Jacob Freiman, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 271 reviews

What to do before and after Breast Aug to reduce complications...

When having a Breast Augmentation research about the surgery is very important so you can better understand what exactly is involved with the procedure.  The most important things is to find an experienced board certified plastic surgeon with whom you feel comfortable.  Following all of your surgeon's instructions is also a key to reducing complications.  These include stopping smoking 2 weeks before and after surgery, stopping certain medications like blood thinners, vitamins, and herbal products.  Finally, do not over exert yourself when performing daily activities after surgery.  If followed correctly these points will give you a lesser chance of experiencing complications. 

Shain A. Cuber, MD
Edison Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

What Can I Do After Before Having Breast Implant Surgery to Cut the Risks and Complications?

Educate yourself, have informed consent meetings with your surgeon, follow the pre operative settings for healing and bleeding prevention. Ask and re ask ALL your questions until you fully understand the risk/benefit ratios. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.