Are Benign Lumps Typical After a Breast Reduction/lift?

In September, 4 mos after a breast reduction/lift in May, I felt a hard quarter sized lump, in the bottom left side of my left breast. It is approximately 2 inches up from the bottom incision, & 1 inch to the side of the middle incision. No pain involved. My surgeon sent me immediately for a mammogram & ultra sound. The Radiologist said this was benign, & suggests repeating the 2 tests in February (6 mos). Is this condition typical?

Doctor Answers 6

It's Not Uncommon to Develop Lumps in the Breast Following Breast Reduction

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Breast reduction results in significant changes in the architecture of the breast. It’s not uncommon to develop lumps in the breast as a result of these changes. These lesions fall into several categories and include stitch granulomas, encapsulated hematomas, scar tissue, cysts and areas of fat necrosis.

The vast majority of these lesions are benign and resolve with time. Even though these lumps have developed following surgery, it cannot be assumed that they are the result of surgery. It’s important that they be evaluated to rule out malignancy.

Although conservative management is appropriate, in some cases these lumps don’t resolve on their own. Under these circumstances, excision of the lesion may be necessary.

Lumps after breast surgery

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Lumps after breast surgery are common.  These can be caused by cysts, stitch abscesses, or areas where fat does not have perfect blood supply.  After a mammogram/ultrasound/MRI confirms the benigh nature of the lump you may want to try a series of warm compresses.  This will increase local blood flow and may help resolution.  Persistent lumps need to be followed with repeat mammogram/ultrasound/MRI studies.  Even a benign lump may need to be surgically removed for comfort and peace of mind.

Lumps after breast reduction surgery

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Sometimes areas where fat scars or has poor blood supply after reduction surgery can cause firm lumps in the breast.  These firm areas usually resolve in several months to 2 years.  However, no lump in the breast should ever go without thorough evaluation or be assumed to be secondary to surgery.  Your doctor is correctly approaching the evaluation of these findings 

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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Lump(s) after breast reduction

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A post surgical breast "lump" or mass is not unusual, but all breast masses must be taken seriously.  Your surgeon, it seems to me, is managing the finding quite appropriately.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
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Benign breast tumor after breast reduction

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It is possible to have a breast lump which is a suture granuloma or scar tissue. However, if you are speaking of a breast tumor, this would not be a consequence of the surgery. When the breasts are reduced, you may become more aware of the presence of lesions. I require all breast reduction patients over age 40 to have a baseline mammogram prior to the surgery and send all resected breast tissue for pathologic analysis to rule out any previously unknown tumor processes.

Benign Lesion after Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question.

It is not uncommon to have “benign lumps”  found after breast surgery.  This may be related to scar tissue, fat necrosis, suture granuloma  or may be completely unrelated to the breast surgery ( for example cyst  or fibroadenoma).

Nevertheless, careful self breast exam and radiologic evaluation remains important;  don't assume that any “lump” is benign.

I hope this helps.

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.