What are the side effects of breast surgery?

The side effects of breast surgery vary from woman to woman. In general, the recovery period is similar for both operations.

Patients usually spend five to seven days in the hospital Major soreness from breast surgery usually disappears after a few days.

Common side-effects that may occur after wide local excision include:

  • temporary swelling of the breast
  • breast tenderness
  • hardness due to scar tissue that forms at the surgical site
  • seroma (clear fluid trapped in the wound)

Common side-effects that may occur after mastectomy include:

  • haematoma (blood trapped in the wound)
  • seroma (clear fluid trapped in the wound)
  • temporary to permanent limitations of arm/shoulder movement (lymphoedema) if lymph nodes are removed during the operation
  • numbness in the upper-arm skin


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