Breast augmentation risks are rare, but it’s important to be aware of them before you decide to undergo breast implant surgery.
In this article, we’ll discuss the risks of breast augmentation during and directly after surgery as well as for the duration of time your implants are in.
Immediate Risks During or Right After Surgery
Potential breast augmentation complications during or directly after surgery include the following:
- Excessive bleeding
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Changes in breast sensation
Excessive bleeding around the implant (haematoma) can happen right after surgery or sometimes within the first few weeks of recovery. Extreme tightness and swelling are usually the most common signs of a bleed that won’t stop.
In most cases, you will be able to retain your implant and have a successful outcome. However, you must contact your surgeon if you suspect this complication so that you can have the bleeding stopped and drain the excess blood.
Infection is a risk after any type of surgery, though it is rare. If an infection occurs, it usually occurs in the first one to two weeks after surgery.
Discharge from the incision site, redness that won’t go away, and a persistent fever are a few signs of infection. If you have concerns about an infection, be sure to contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible.
Reactions to Anesthesia
Rarely, certain patients may have an adverse reaction to the use of anesthesia during surgery. This generally occurs when anesthesia is used for a prolonged period of time and may include an extended recovery due to anesthesia effects, nausea, vomiting, and, rarely, difficulty breathing.
Changes in Breast Sensation
Over- or under-sensation in the nipples and breasts can be a complication of breast augmentation surgery. This is quite normal but can be alarming. Many patients experience oversensitive nipples and/or numbness in their breast tissue.
Most of the time, these sensation changes will disappear over time. But if they do not, contact your surgeon.
Rarely, patients may experience long-term breast augmentation complications associated with their implants. These may include:
- Capsular contracture
- Breast implant rupture
Capsular contracture occurs when the body forms a protective capsule of scar tissue around the implant. This in itself, is normal, but in some cases, the scar tissue can contract, causing the implant to become misshapen or hardened. As this occurs, it can lead to breast distortion and discomfort or pain for the patient. Severe cases of capsular contracture may necessitate corrective surgery to remove the scar tissue or replace the implant.
Breast Implant Rupture
Implant rupture can occur due to a variety of factors, such as trauma, natural wear and tear, or manufacturing defects. With saline implants, ruptures are typically more noticeable as the breast deflates, causing a visible change in size and shape.
With silicone implants, ruptures can be less obvious since the cohesive gel inside tends to stay within the implant shell. Monitoring is crucial because a silent rupture can only be detected through imaging, like an MRI. In the event of an implant rupture, surgical removal and replacement are typically necessary to ensure the best outcome.
Breast Implant Illness
Breast implant illness (BII) is not an easily diagnosable illness with specific symptoms. Rather, it is an assortment of possible symptoms that are associated with having breast implants. These symptoms include chronic fatigue, anxiety, dry eyes and mouth, trouble sleeping, and muscle and joint pain, among others.
It’s difficult to draw definitive conclusions about breast implant illness, but fortunately, it is rare. Breast implant removal generally results in a reduction or eradication of symptoms.
Breast Implant Associated Lymphoma
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is not the same as breast cancer. Instead, it is a type of immune system cancer, also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Swelling and severe and persistent pain around the implants and/or a lump in the breast are the most common symptoms.
BIA-ALCL is rare, but it’s important to know about prior to getting breast implants. It appears to occur most commonly in patients who have textured breast implants. Textured breast implants are most common with silicone breast implants that are teardrop shaped. The texture helps to keep the implants from rotating within the breast pocket. Still, round and saline implants may be textured as well.
Dr. Sieber’s Approach: Rapid Recovery Technique
Dr. Sieber aims to mitigate complications and recovery symptoms by using the Rapid Recovery Technique when working with breast implant patients.
The Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation Method is not just one single step to minimize trauma and help patients recover faster. Instead, it is a long list of steps taken by Dr. Sieber, his staff, and the patient, which, combined, minimizes tissue trauma, leading to decreased discomfort and bruising. Rapid Recovery can enable patients to resume their daily activities within just 24 hours.*
This method encompasses a comprehensive process. Before the final implant is positioned, the surgical pocket will be flushed with an antibiotic solution to ward off postoperative infections and lower the likelihood of capsular contracture.
Following this, all incisions will be sealed using absorbable sutures. Other key steps and a comprehensive healing guide for patients help to speed up breast augmentation recovery and avoid complications.
Q&A: Breast Augmentation Risks
Are there fat transfer breast augmentation risks?
As with any surgery, fat transfer breast augmentation carries some risks. These can include the potential for fat absorption, irregularities in fat redistribution, and the need for additional procedures to achieve your desired results.
What are the risks of second breast augmentation surgery?
Risks associated with a second breast augmentation surgery (breast implant revision) include complications related to anesthesia, infection, scarring, and the possibility of developing capsular contracture. Additionally, the pre-existing scar tissue from the initial surgery may complicate the revision process.
Learn More at Your Consultation Appointment
As a breast augmentation patient, it is critical to prioritize safety and make informed decisions about your breast augmentation surgery. For this reason, always make sure to choose a board certified plastic surgeon who has unique experience with breast augmentation and breast implant safety.
Dr. David Sieber is a double board certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience with breast augmentation surgery. To schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Sieber, please contact our office today. Dr. Sieber will be able to answer any questions you have about your surgery including how to prepare for a breast augmentation.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person. Editorial content, before and after images, overview breast augmentation and patient testimonials do not constitute a guarantee of specific results.