Necrosis After Breast Augmentation

What is Necrosis?

Necrosis is the formation of dead tissue around the breast implant. This may prevent wound healing and require surgical forrection and/or removal of the breast implant. Permanent scarring and deformity may occur following necrosis.

Certain factors increase your risk of necrosis, including:

  • Smoking: diminishes oxygen levels in the blood and can delay wound healing
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation
  • Excessive use of heat and cold therapy: ice packs can restrict blood flow to the surgical area, which can result in necrosis. Likewise, heat therapy can also result in necrosis. Any extreme temperature (hot or cold) disrupts cellular activity.
  • Use of steroids in the surgical pocket

If you smoke, try to quit. If you can’t quit, it is best to cut back as much as possible, particularly in teh weeks leading up to and following your surgery. This is especially important in cases where a breast lift is performed. Many surgeons will not perform breast lists, face lifts, tummy tucks, or any other surgery that requires skin removal, on patients that continue to smoke, and this is due to the increased risk of necrosis.

If using heat therapy or cold therapy during recovery, be absolutely sure to consult with your surgeon on how long and how often these therapies should and can be applied.

Radiation damages cancerous cells so that they won’t continue to grow. Unfortunately, radiation also damages normal, healthy cells and damages the blood supply to health tissue, which can result in necrosis.