American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Risks and Safety

The decision to have breast reconstruction is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.

The risks include:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Flap surgery includes the risk of partial or complete loss of the flap and a loss of sensation at both the donor and reconstruction site
  • Infection
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Breast contour and shape irregularities
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
  • Poor wound healing
  • Persistent pain
  • Possibility of revision surgery
  • The use of implants carries the risk of breast firmness (capsular contracture) and implant rupture
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Fat transfer risks include cysts, infection, microcalcification, necrosis (death) of fat cells and the possibility that some of the transferred fat cells will leave the breast area
  • The development of a type of cancer of the immune system called Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
  • Breast implants may be associated with systemic symptoms commonly referred to as breast implant illness (BII) which can include fatigue, "brain fog," muscle or joint pain and rash

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent.

It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.


Patient Care Center