Possible Complications in Breast Enhancement Surgery

After any surgery, healing time is needed to help the wound heal and the body to adjust. The usual side effects of breast implant surgery include:

  • temporary pain
  • swelling and bruising
  • Feeling of tightness in the chest
  • Anyone can feel tight for a few weeks after surgery.

Breast implant surgery has no risks. There are times when things don’t go as planned or people have complications and problems afterwards.

The most common breast implant complications include:

  • Thick and noticeable scars that do not fade
  • Hardening of the breast tissue, due to the shrinkage of the scar tissue around the implant
  • A rupture where the implant leaks that can cause small lumps to form called silicone granulomas
  • Noticeable wrinkles or folds in the implant
  • Rotation of the implant inside the breast
  • The “ripple” of the implant, if a thin layer of tissue covers the implant and adheres to the implant surface
  • Infection that usually requires implant removal
  • Inability to breastfeed or produce less breast milk than before
  • Being dissatisfied with the results and requiring another operation
  • Nerve damage to the nipples

Nerve damage can make a person’s nipples more sensitive, less sensitive, or they may lose sensation completely. The damage may only be temporary for some women, but for others it may be permanent.

Other less common complications of the breast implant surgery include:

  • Heavy bleeding during surgery
  • Allergic reaction to the drug
  • The blood clot forms in the deep veins of the body

A cancer of the cells of the immune system called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL, is also associated with breast implants. This type of cancer is extremely rare but is found in a small number of women who have had breast implant surgery.

ALCL is usually found several years after implant placement, and it’s usually discovered after a person notices a new lump in one of the breasts where the implant is.

In these cases, fluid was found around the implant, and when the fluid was tested, cancer cells were detected.

A mammogram, an X-ray used to detect breast cancer, may also be less accurate when done on women who have breast implants. Additional views or images are needed to examine breasts with implants.

Different implants come with different risks, so it is imperative that a person research the type of implants available, their potential side effects and complications, and choose which one suits them best.


Silicone gel implants

These implants are less prone to wrinkles than saline implants. The polyurethane-coated type is claimed to reduce the risk of implant rotation or a scar affecting the shape of the implant.

However, if the soft gel silicone implant ruptures, the silicone may spread into the breast, causing silicone granulomas to develop. The implant should be removed if it ruptures. Polyurethane coated implants can also provoke a temporary skin reaction.

While newer silicone implants are less likely to leak silicone into the breast if it ruptures, it is difficult to say when this will happen. An FDA trusted source recommends magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect an implant rupture 3 years after it was first placed, and every 2 years thereafter.

Insurance usually does not cover this MRI scan. The implants are said to have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years and will usually need to be replaced at least once in their lifetime.

Saline solution

These implants contain a saline solution of salt water, which the body can safely absorb or exhale if the implants rupture.

Since the saline will leak out of the casing, it is much easier to detect if the device has ruptured. The affected breast will suddenly appear smaller than the other side.

Because they are less stiff than silicone, these implants are thought to be more likely to wrinkle or fold.

Early signs of complications to look out in breast implant surgery

  • Redness of the skin around the breast
  • Unusual swelling that does not go down
  • burning

If anyone notices any of the above symptoms, they should immediately contact the clinic where the operation was performed.

If a person is concerned that the operation was not performed correctly or they are not satisfied with the results of the surgery, they should contact the surgeon who performed the operation.

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