What are the possible risks of breast implant surgery?
Complications are rare with breast augmentation surgery. The vast majority of our breast implant patients have no complications and are extremely happy with their results.
Nevertheless, all surgeries have their risks. The following list outlines some of the risks that do exist, as infrequent as they are:
When implants are placed in the body, the body’s normal response is to form a lining, or capsule, around it, just as it would with any foreign object. That process is completely natural, and capsular contracture itself is also natural. A problem only arises if the capsule squeezes too much, making the soft implant beneath it feel hard. If this occurs, the capsule may need to be removed, or the implant replaced.
As with any surgical procedure, excessive bleeding following the operation may cause some swelling and pain. If excessive bleeding continues, another operation may be needed to control the bleeding and remove the accumulated blood.
Very rarely women may develop an infection around an implant. This may occur at any time, but is most often seen within a week after surgery. In some cases, the implant may need to be removed for several months until the infection clears. A new implant can then be inserted.
Changes in Nipple Sensitivity:
Some women report that their nipples become oversensitive, undersensitive, or even numb. You may also notice small patches of numbness near your incisions. These symptoms usually disappear within time, but may be permanent in some patients.
Fertility, Pregnancy and Nursing:
As highly experienced breast augmentation experts, Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad assure patients that breast implants will not affect fertility, pregnancy, or your ability to nurse. If, however, you have nursed a baby within the year before augmentation, you may produce milk for a few days after surgery. This may cause some discomfort, but can be treated with medication prescribed by your doctor.
Very occasionally, breast implants may break or leak. Rupture can occur as a result of injury or even from the normal compression and movement of your breast and implant. Both saline and cohesive gel implants are particularly safe in the event of rupture. Saline is a salt solution that is similar to fluids that are naturally present in the body, and will be absorbed by the body if the implant ruptures. Cohesive gel is a solid similar in texture to a gummy bear, and in the event of rupture will not spread in the body.
If a rupture occurs, you will need a second operation to replace the leaking implant.
Numerous large and well-controlled studies have conclusively proven that breast implants do not increase the risk of breast cancer in patients who have undergone this operation. However, they may change the way mammography is done to detect cancer. When you request a routine mammogram, be sure to go to a radiology centre where technicians are experienced in the special techniques required to get a reliable X-ray of a breast with an implant. Additional views will be required. Ultrasound examinations may be of benefit in some women with implants to detect breast lumps or to evaluate the implant.
While the majority of women do not experience these complications, you should discuss each of them with your physician to make sure you understand the risks and consequences of breast augmentation.