The Dangers of Breast Surgery

Dangers and Complications of Breast Implant Surgery

If you are a woman who is considering breast implant surgery, there are a few considerations you may want to keep in mind before actually having the procedure done. In this article, I will discuss the dangers and common complications of breast implant surgery.

Breast surgery, although a very common cosmetic procedure still has its risks. Every year over 200,000 women will decide to have some kind of breast augmentation surgery.

It is a known fact that 10% percent of breast implants burst inside the body usually after 5 to 10 years.

Saline Silicone Implants

Another common issue with breast implants is that they can release chemicals into your body, even before they begin to leak. The FDA conducted a study in the year 2000 and found that sixty-nine percent of the women that where analyzed had leaky implants and most of them did not know it.

Going through any kind of surgical procedure can have side-effects, some of these may include reactions from anesthesia, infection, swelling, redness, bleeding, and pain.

Breast enlargement surgery is no different. While a lot of women think that breast surgery is a simple procedure it should not be taken lightly, there are considerations that you should consider before moving forward.

In this article, I will cover many of the potential health risks women may experience after breast enlargement surgery.

Risk of Infection

Infections are not uncommon after breast augmentation surgery, while you may think that complications can occur shortly after the surgery some infections can appear weeks after you have had the procedure. However, infections are possible at any time after the surgery.

Infections with implants can make treating the infection more difficult.

For most infections, doctors may prescribe antibiotics, however, if the infections persist the implant may have to be removed and replaced after the infection is treated and resolved.

In rare occasions some women have experienced toxic shock syndrome after implant surgery, this can be a life-threatening procedure some of the symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea

Ruptured Implants

Breast implants can rupture and begin to leak saline from the implant shell. Implants can deflate quickly in a few days, however it's more common for them to deflate slowly over time, it's usually noticeable due to a loss in size or a change in the look of your breasts.

Ruptured Implant

While breast implants are supposed to last for several years many of them can rupture sooner. Some of the causes for implants deflating are due to over or under filling or damage by surgical instruments during placement.

Capsular Contracture

When capsular contracture occurs it is usually caused by a response to the immune system rejecting foreign materials placed in your body, in this case, a breast implant.

Capsular contractures can cause scar tissue to form around the implant, this can create pressure around the implant.

Capsular contracture is most common when there has been an infection or causes a hematoma. It is also more common when the implant procedure is sub-glandular (behind the mammary gland and above the chest muscle).

The symptoms they cause are usually severe pain and discomfort, distortion of the shape of your breast or movement and shifting of the implant.

If capsular contracture is diagnosed often times the implant will have to be removed along with any excess scar tissue.

Pain After Surgery

One of the most common complaints after breast surgery is pain, the intensity and duration will vary of the pain will vary, while pain is normal for the first couple of days it should quickly begin to decrease. In some cases pain may persist, some of the causes have been due to a surgeon placing an improper size implant, or the kind of implant procedure performed.

If pain persists for more than a few days you should immediately consult your doctor.

Breast Actives

Implant Replacement

Most women are under the impression that their breast implants will last a lifetime, the truth is there is no real guarantee how long your implants will last. Most companies that sell implants warranty their products for 10 years, this does not mean that they will last that long.

Implants can last longer than the warranty, however many can rupture or leak long before the warranty expires. If this happens the implant will have to be removed or replaced.

Unhappy with the Results

Believe it or not many women will have their implants removed shortly after surgery. A lot of women are not happy with the results they get after having breast enlargement surgery, some of the common reasons for dissatisfaction of the surgery include:

  • Irregular scars
  • Implant palpability
  • Wrinkling breasts
  • Not happy with the shape (asymmetry)
  • Breasts look fake
  • Their breasts are bigger than what they expected

While plastic surgeons can always give you an idea of what your breasts will look like after surgery it does not always guarantee your expected results.

Possible Seroma or Hematoma

A hematoma is a when blood collects within a body cavity, a seroma is a collection of water mixed with blood which can occur around the implant or the incision. Hematomas or seromas can sometimes cause infections along with swelling and bruising. Hematomas usually occur shortly after surgery.

In most cases small hematomas are absorbed by the body, bigger ones may require surgical drainage in order for them to heal properly.

Loss of Nipple Sensation

Nipple sensitivity is something that can affect women after having breast surgery, some women may experience lack of sensitivity while some women experience extreme sensitivity.

In some rare cases, women lose sensitivity in the nipples after surgery, these symptoms may be only temporary while others may be permanent.

Problems with Breastfeeding

In spite of the popularity of breast enlargement surgery, there is still no solid research on how much silicone or saline can leak from the breast implant or leak into the milk ducts during lactation. If it does occur there is no way of knowing what kind of effect it can have on nursing babies.

The success rate of women with women who have implants is lower than those who don't have implants. A lot has to do with the type of surgery women have.

Woman Breastfeeding
Mixed race mother nursing newborn baby

Breast surgery can impair milk production and affect the milk cuts and cause scarring causing women to produce less breast milk. There is a full study here on statistics and outcomes from breastfeeding with implants, many women experienced problems with producing enough breast milk while others had discomfort.

Calcium Deposits

Calcium deposits are often seen on mammograms and be mistaken for possible cancer, in some cases doctors may require a biopsy or removal of the breast implant to be able to identify the problem.

Common health problems include:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Mental confusion
  • Hair loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Rashes
  • Dry eyes

These symptoms can occur shortly after have breast implant surgery, however many of these symptoms occur years after long after the surgery, many women suspect these issues are due to the implants and will have them removed.

Is Breast Surgery Worth the Risk?

Breast implant surgery is not always an elective surgery, some women have to have it because they have had cancer or some sort of breast disfigurement, in these cases it is necessary. For cosmetic purposes, women should think carefully take into consideration the possible complications.

Younger women should consider the potential health risks and that may affect milk production and breastfeeding.

References:

https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/risks-and-complications-breast-implants

Risk of Breast Implant Surgery

Breast Implant Complications FDA

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