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Feb 21, 2017 09:53AM
Feb 21, 2017 09:58AM
Luckynumber47 it'd probably be hard to find solid results on that as it really can vary wildly from person to person.
Even healthy people who have breast implants or breast reconstruction can have complications and there is always the risk of infection, tissue necrosis, capsular contracture (scar tissue forming around the implant, making it look odd, feel hard, and be painful), bottoming out, lateral displacement (if you lay on your back and your implants seem to fall far to the side, almost in your armpit, that's lateral displacement), rotation (for anatomical implants), etc...that can happen even in a regular (as in not a reconstruction after a mastectomy) breast augmentation even with the best surgeon.
Sometimes, even if an implant has been fine for 10+ years, complications like bottoming out, capsular contracture, rotation, lateral displacement, etc...can happen.
For the flap type surgeries, any surgery runs the risk of infection, wound healing issues, tissue necrosis, or failure of the grafted tissue; those are just risks one chooses to take when electing to have that type of surgery. The majority are likely successful, or there wouldn't still be a 'demand' for those types of surgeries, however, and doctors would very likely not recommend them if the chance of failure was high.
The risks for those things tend to go up if someone is already in poor health, have certain health issues (diabetes can impede wound healing, just as an example) has already had one or more breast surgeries, or is going through treatments that may suppress their immune system or compromise skin/muscle tissue.
Going by what's seen on this forum probably isn't a good barometer of complication levels either, as people do tend to post 'vent' posts when/if they're frustrated with something that's gone wrong with their reconstruction or ask if others have experienced a complication, which can give the impression that nearly everyone experiences complications when that's not true.
I look at the breast reconstruction forum here kind of how I view working in tech support: People usually only call for support when something needs to be fixed or is going wrong. It gives the impression that the software product in question is just terrible and fundamentally broken when, the fact is, the majority of customers aren't having problems. Support just gets a skewed perspective because we typically only hear from customers who are having problems.
Happy customers rarely say anything, but unhappy customers tend to be kind of loud about it.
It's likely that way with breast reconstruction; the majority are likely satisfied and had minimal to no complications, and just don't talk about it as nothing is wrong so they don't often think about it. Those who are frustrated, having complications, etc...are more likely to want to talk about it to try and get advice on what to do or to just vent about what they're going through.
Prophylactic BMX no recon, June 2016, due to strong family history of BC. NF1 positive.