All surgery inevitably carries some uncertainty and risk.
Breast augmentation is relatively straightforward, however there are risks associated with any kind of surgery and there are specific complications associated with this procedure.The most common problem, capsular contracture, occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. This squeezing of the soft implant can cause the breast to feel hard. Capsular contracture can be treated in several ways, and sometimes requires either removal or “scoring” of the scar tissue, or perhaps removal or replacement of the implant.
As with any surgical procedure, excessive bleeding following the operation may cause some swelling and pain. If excessive bleeding continues, another operation may be needed to control the bleeding and remove the accumulated blood.
A small percentage of women develop an infection around an implant. This may occur at any time, but is most often seen within a week after surgery. In some cases, the implant may need to be removed for several months until the infection clears. A new implant can then be inserted.
Some women report that their nipples become oversensitive, undersensitive, or even numb. You may also notice small patches of numbness near your incisions. These symptoms usually disappear within time, but may be permanent in some patients.
There is no evidence that breast implants will affect fertility, pregnancy, or your ability to nurse. If, however, you have nursed a baby within the year before augmentation, you may produce milk for a few days after surgery. This may cause some discomfort, but can be treated with medication prescribed by your doctor.
When you request a routine mammogram, be sure to go to a radiology centre where technicians are experienced in the special techniques required to get a reliable x-ray of a breast with an implant. Additional views will be required. Ultrasound examinations may be of benefit to some women with implants to detect breast lumps or to evaluate the implant.
While the majority of women do not experience these complications, you should discuss each of them with us to make sure you understand the risks and consequences of breast augmentation.
It is important to remember that breast implants are a man-made device and are not “for life”, i.e. implants will need to be removed or replaced at some stage in your life.