What are the Risks and Complications of Breast Augmentation Surgery?

There are risks and complications associated with all operations. Although serious complications of breast augmentation surgery are rare, sometimes complications can occur. The decision to have breast implants is extremely personal. You need to evaluate and weigh up the risks and complications. Only you can make the decision. Keep reading to find out the potential risks and complications of breast implant surgery. 

Risks and Complications of Breast Augmentation Surgery

When you get plastic surgery, or any surgery for that matter, there are inherent risks. However, there are also certain complications that can arise that are specific to breast augmentation surgery. By understanding the different risks, you can evaluate both the pros and cons. 

First, certain side effects are common to feel after breast enlargement, like:

  • Swelling 
  • Bruising 
  • Temporary discomfort  
  • Some tightness in the chest 

During breast augmentation recovery, it’s normal to feel some discomfort. You need to rest and recover and give yourself time to heal. It’s important to know what to expect during your recovery and have all the information you need while researching your procedure. 

Any surgery has risks. If you’re going under anaesthetic, that presents risks in itself. Risks and complications of breast augmentation surgery, include:

  • Infection 
  • Bleeding 
  • Hematoma
  • Anaesthesia risks 
  • Necrosis 
  • Fluid accumulation 
  • Breast pain 

It’s important to know that breast implants are not considered to last a lifetime. Natural life milestones like pregnancy, weight loss, and menopause can all influence your implants over time. It’s not quite as simple as one surgery, and then you forget about your implants. 

Although breast implants are designed to last, they will likely need to be replaced at some point. It’s difficult to say the exact time as everyone is different. It’s not that the implant decays; they are durable. But how your body responds to the implant can change over time. This is why it’s so important to check in with your surgeon after your procedure.

In general, breast implants are usually made from either silicone or saline. In the UK, silicone implants are most commonly used. These implants are less likely to wrinkle and feel more natural. Saline implants are more likely to rupture, fold, or deflate over time. 

Changes in Feeling of Breasts 

The majority of patients experience some change in the feeling of their breasts. This could be either an increase or decrease in feeling around the nipple and breast. While oversensitivity tends to calm down after several months, numbness around the nipple can be permanent if it continues for more than six weeks after your procedure. 

Capsular Contracture  

One of the potential complications of breast implants is capsular contracture. When this happens, the scar tissue forms tightly around the implant. It then squeezes the implant. Symptoms of capsular contracture include tightness and feeling like there’s something hard on your chest when you lay down. It can cause pain and distort the shape of the breast.

Breast Implant Complications 

Your surgeon will discuss all potential risks and complications of breast augmentation surgery. Potential complications of breast augmentation surgery and implants include: 

  • Bottoming out – this refers to a form of breast implant displacement. The implant sinks down to the lower part of the breast area. 
  • Double bubble – this is a type of implant deformity where the breast tissue descends instead of the implant. 
  • Animation – excessive movement or distortion when you do activities that involve your chest muscles. 
  • Wrinkling – this is when you see wrinkling or rippling over the implant. 
  • Rupture & deflation – if a breast implant ruptures, it will start to leak and deflate. Swelling, soreness, and burning sensation are all signs of a breast implant rupture. 
  • Malposition – when the implant is sitting in the wrong place. 
  • Asymmetry – this is when your breast implants are uneven. 

Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

BIA-ALCL stands for Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. It’s a type of lymphoma that can develop around the breast implants. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. 

Breast Implant Illness  

Breast implant illness refers to a range of symptoms that can occur after breast augmentation with implants. The term isn’t a medical diagnosis but rather created to describe a variety of symptoms patients feel developed following breast augmentation. Symptoms can include: 

  • Tiredness 
  • Immune-related symptoms 
  • Joint aches 
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression 
  • Hormonal problems 
  • Rash 
  • Headaches 

Breastfeeding After Breast Implants 

It is possible to breastfeed after breast implants but there are no 100% certainties. Some patients go on to breastfeed as normal. Others experience a reduction in milk supply or may not be able to breastfeed at all. It is possible to breastfeed with implants, but it does depend on a few factors like whether there’s any scarring to the milk ducts, the type of surgery, damage to any breast tissue, and the actual function of milk production before and after the procedure. 

Thick Breast Augmentation Scarring 

With any surgery that involves incisions, there will be scarring. A great plastic surgeon will do their best to create neat and carefully-concealed scarring in any procedure. Whether it’s liposuction, fat transfer, or breast enlargement, neat scars are important. There is a risk that scarring from breast augmentation surgery could become thick and obvious. 

Silicone Strips for Scars - What Do Breast Augmentation Scars Look Like? Neat breast augmentation scars, The Harley Clinic, London

Revision Surgeries 

There is a risk that you would need revision surgeries in some cases, such as: 

  • Implant removal 
  • Capsule removal 
  • Repositioning 

Fortunately, severe complications from breast implants are rare. However, you need to know every risk involved when considering plastic surgery. That way, you can make the right decision for you. 

Researching complications of breast augmentation surgery

When you have your cosmetic surgery consultation at the Harley Clinic, your plastic surgeon will talk you through all the complications and risks associated with getting breast implants. While it’s great to do some research before your consultation, ask lots of questions so that you feel completely confident in your surgeon. 

If you have any concerns with your breast implants or are considering breast augmentation, book a consultation today at the Harley Clinic. 

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