What are the Risks Associated with Surgery?

Dr. Anne Rosenberg answers the question: 'What are the risks of surgery?'

ByAnne Rosenberg, M.d., Breast Surgeon, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
October 02, 2007, 3:55 PM

— -- Question: What are the risks associated with surgery?

Answer: The risks associated with surgery or breast surgery include all those things that can happen to you when you have any kind of a surgical procedure, besides those that are specific to operating on the breast. So while people can have infections, bleeding, trouble with the anesthesia; some women have some nausea after the anesthesia. Those are complications that you might have just from any surgical procedure. The complications relative to breast surgery have to do with the fact that you may have some distortion in the breast if a big enough piece of tissue is removed. You may have some numbness. If you operate on the armpit you may have some issues with swelling of the arm, which is what we call lymphedema, or some numbness in the underarm area.

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