Risks of Breast Implants
As with all surgeries, there is some risk associated with breast augmentation. The first and most important one is infection. Generally high fevers are an indication of infection after surgery and patients should be careful about this after any invasive medical procedure.
Let’s check some of the specific risks of breast implant surgery:
This is the effect created when the implant is too low and the areola is very high. This creates a natural sagging appearance because there’s insufficient room for the implant. It can also be caused by the weight of the implant in women with thin skin. This can be corrected with surgery. This one can be ruled out if the surgeon is experienced enough.
Capsular contracture is a risk or complication in the traditional sense and it will definitely happen to a certain degree. The amount of contraction is the problem. Capsular contracture causes the implant to be squeezed by fibrous scar tissue that forms around it. The result can be a painful hardening of the breasts. This is the most common complication of breast augmentation surgery. It can be resolved through a revision surgery where the scar tissue is scraped off to make more room for the implant. Multiple surgeries may also be necessary to correct the problem.
This is a common surgical risk and is caused by clotted blood under the skin. This can create swelling of the breasts and could possibly be painful. This can be corrected with surgery or drainage.
Interference with Mammography
The saline or silicone breast implants may change the mammogram and fail to show a breast cancer or a precancerous lesion. The submuscular placement of implants is the best to reduce the risk. However, modern techniques are now available that have solved the problem and somewhat reversed it – breast implants have made the identification of breast tumors easier.
Necrosis or “tissue death” is a rare and serious complication. The dead tissue can accumulate around the implant and prevent the recovery process. The solution lies in complete removal of the implants by surgery. Necrosis usually leaves large and permanent scars.
Bursting of the implants
Even though women with breast implants can do a variety of activities without fear, they should know that their implants are not indestructible. Most implants have a manufacturer’s warranty that covers operational failures. But many factors that may cause implants to rupture are not covered under warranty and some (such as surgeries filling the implants with more or less than specified saline) actually void the warranty.
Seroma is a collection of fluid around the implant. This little problem is solved with the drainage of the fluid with a needle.
Simastia is a rare risk – the result of an error which causes the surgical implantation to raise the sternum. The result is a large breast in front of the body without contour. This complication is difficult to repair.
This occurs when a textured implant is attached after the swelling has disappeared. When the implant falls, it pulls the scar tissue that draws the skin. The result is a curvature of the breast. Only the use of soft implants eliminates the risk.
Breast augmentation is the most common type of plastic surgery today. As with all surgeries (especially electives), it is important to understand the risks involved. However, in most cases it’s not the surgery that’s to be blamed, but the surgeon. So, bottom line is – get it done from an experienced surgeon.
Dr. Glicksman is a renowned expert for breast augmentation in New Jersey, who is a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing since 1995.