Breast Augmentation Complication Risks
Undergoing any surgical procedure may involve the risk of complications such as the effects of anesthesia, infection, swelling, redness, bleeding and pain. In addition, there are potential complications specific to breast implants. These complications include:
Implants deflate when the saline solution leaks either through an unsealed or damaged valve, or through a break in the implant shell. This can occur immediately or progressively over a period of days. Some deflate/rupture in the first few months and some after several years. Causes include damage by surgical instruments, overfilling or under filling, trauma or intense physical manipulation, excessive compression during mammography imaging, and unknown/unexplained reasons.
Scar tissue or capsule that normally forms around the implant may tighten and squeeze the implant. It is more common following infection, hematoma and seroma. It is also more common with sub glandular placement (overs). Symptoms range from firmness and mild discomfort, to pain, distortion, palpability of the implant, and/or displacement of the implant.
Most infections resulting from surgery appear within a few days to weeks after operation. However, infection is possible at any time. In rare instances, toxic shock syndrome has been noted in women after breast implant surgery. Symptoms include sudden fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, and/or sunburn-like rash.
Hematoma is a collection of blood inside a body cavity and a seroma is a collection of the watery portion of the blood (in this case, around the implant or incision). Swelling, pain, and bruising may result. While the body absorbs small hematomas and seromas, large ones will require the placement of surgical drains for proper healing.
Changes in Nipple and Breast Sensation
Feeling in the nipple and breast may increase or decrease after surgery. The range of changes varies from intense sensitivity to no feeling in the nipple or breast. Changes in feeling can be temporary or permanent and may affect sexual response or the ability to nurse a baby.
Connective Tissue Disease
Concern over the association of implants to the development of autoimmune or connective tissue diseases were raised because of cases reported in the literature of small numbers of women with implants. A review of several large epidemiological studies of women with and without implants indicates that these diseases are no more common in women with implants than those women without implants.
Commonly known as the "Bread Loaf" look. This is when the breast implants cross the breastbone to touch each other over the midline of the chest where the cleavage area would normally be seen. This is rare, but attempts to increase cleavage by releasing or cutting the inner origins of the pectoralis muscles may lead to symmastia.
Inflammation of a blood vessel causing a visible line. This usually heals on its own not causing permanent damage.
The implants have descended too low on the chest causing the nipples to be too high on the breast.
This is when a woman with natural sagging to her breasts has implants with submuscular placement. Without having a proper breast lift, the breasts resemble a "double bubble" whereas the impants sit higher on the chest with her natural sagging breasts below. Consideration to having a breast lift along with augmentation would be advisable to avoid this.
There is a high chance to have additional surgery at some point to replace or remove the implants. Other complications mentioned above may require removal of the implants. Some women decide to have them replaced, but some do not. Those who choose not to may have cosmetically unacceptable dimpling and/or puckering of the breast.
Please seek medical attention for diagnosis from your physician if you experience any of these complications.