How Safe is Breast Augmentation Surgery?

  • Posted on: 5 June 2018
  • By: Dr. Mucci

One of the most popular procedures in all of cosmetic surgery is the breast augmentation. Its status in our culture is one that is unrivaled, leading over 300,000 women to the procedure in 2017 alone. So, how safe is this ubiquitous procedure and what can you expect when you decide to have one?

Is it safe?

With every invasive procedure, you run the risk of complications. In some breast augmentation surgeries — implants, specifically — you’re placing a foreign object in the body, which has the potential to cause infection, abnormal scarring, or other problems. While the risk percentages are low, it’s still important to be aware of the possibility of issues.

Your surgeon will cover some of the risks and complications to be aware of before your procedure. Some of the most common ones include breast pain, scarring, anesthesia risks, infection, or changes in the sensitivity of the nipple or breast. Be sure to do your research on both the procedure and the surgeon who will be performing the surgery. Come with all questions you may have and don’t be shy to ask about everything you have on your mind in regards to the surgery.

Silicone vs. Saline Implants

While both silicone and saline implants have a silicone shell, there are differences in texture, consistency, and material.

Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel, which closely resembles the feel of human fat when they are inserted. Saline implants, on the other hand, are inserted into the breast empty then filled with saline solution — sterile salt water — once they are properly placed.

Both surgeries pose the same risk of complications and both types of implants have the possibility of rupturing. With saline implants, your body will absorb the saline solution with no risk of health complications, although the outer shell will have to be surgically removed.

If there is a rupture in a silicone implant, it can cause changes to the shape of the breast or even pain in some instances. When the implant is placed, a tissue forms around the implant. If the implant ruptures, the silicone may become trapped in that tissue. These instances are called silent ruptures and can cause pain, lumpiness of the breast, and changes in the contour and size of the breast.

These ruptures sometimes go unnoticed, but if you suspect your silicone implant has ruptured, you can consult with a doctor to see what the best course of action will be.

Some Facts to Know

  • Implants don’t last forever. Bodies change as we age. Weight loss, weight gain, or aging are all factors that could affect the look of the breast as time moves on. In fact, nearly 25% of women will end up having another surgery after ten years.
  • Implants may affect your ability to breastfeed. Although the research is still ongoing, women who end up having an areola incision may have their ducts interrupted which hampers their ability to breastfeed. The chance is small, but important to note.
  • You’re at more risk if you smoke, have a history of breast cancer, or are obese. With every surgery, there are ideal candidates and breast augmentation is no exception to the rule. If you are a smoker, have a history of breast cancer in your family, or obese, the complications that are possible during and after surgery increase. You’ll need to be evaluated by your surgeon before being cleared for the procedure.

Always remember to come with questions and be prepared to discuss your goals with your surgeon. Consultations are done so your options are discussed and your questions are answered! Good luck!