Complications Of Breast Surgery

Breast biopsy is a common procedure. While complications are infrequent, patients can develop minor wound infections and hematomas. Rarely, pneumothorax has been reported. Wound hematomas frequently require operative control for proper evacuation and hemostasis.

Early complications seen with mastectomies include wound infection, necrosis of skin flaps, and the accumulation of seromas. The most common late complication is lymphedema of the arm. The incidence of postmastectomy lymphedema ranges from a low of 5.5 percent to a high of 80 percent. Most patients can be managed using a combination of fitted compression garments, nighttime elevation, and minor activity restrictions. 8

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