Is Breast Augmentation Safe?

Is Breast Augmentation Safe?

Breast augmentation is widely considered to be a safe procedure. However, any surgery poses risks, and breast implants are associated with some health concerns.

During your breast augmentation consultation, Rafael C. Cabrera, MD, FACS, at Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton talks with you about the procedure and types of implants, including the risks and benefits. He also answers your questions, ensuring you have all the information you need to make a confident decision to have surgery.

In this blog, we share the top concerns related to breast augmentation surgery.

Risks associated with surgery

Surgery poses certain risks for everyone. At the same time, each person has a different risk depending on their overall health. We carefully screen your health to be sure your risks are minimal, and we recommend against surgery when needed to protect your safety.

We also lower your risk by the way we perform your surgery. For example, if you're worried about the risks of general anesthesia, you should know that we typically perform breast augmentation using local anesthesia and sedation.

Other risks associated with surgery include developing blood clots or an infection. We reduce your chance of an infection using the highest standards for ensuring a sterile, bacteria-free surgical site. 

Your risk of developing a blood clot is highest if you have a previous history of blood clots or if you stay inactive for prolonged periods after surgery. If you had blood clots in the past, we run blood tests and may recommend getting an evaluation from a hematologist.

Though you need to rest after surgery, lying in bed too long isn't a problem for our breast augmentation patients because you get up and move around the same day. We may also recommend wearing compression garments to further reduce the chance of a blood clot.

Capsular contracture following an implant

Your body naturally forms a capsule of scar tissue around the breast implant. In some women, these tissues become unusually hard and tighten around the implant. This condition, called capsular contracture, may affect the appearance of your breasts.

While we can't predict who may develop capsular contracture, we screen your medical history for health conditions that increase your risk and talk with you about it before surgery.

We also significantly lower your risk by using an implant size that fits your breast tissue, recommending certain types of implants, and placing the implant under your chest muscle.

Breast implant safety

Breast implant safety tops the list of concerns for many women. The top health issues associated with implants include:

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

BIA-ALCL is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a rare cancer that develops around the implant and under the scar capsule. The most common symptoms of BIA-ALCL include breast enlargement and asymmetry, a fluid buildup, and a lump in your breast or armpit.

Your risk of developing BIA-ALCL is very low, as it affects a very small percentage of women compared to the total breast augmentation procedures performed. 

Additionally, 84% of diagnosed cases of BIA-ALCL were caused by a specific implant that’s no longer on the market. We can't currently determine your risk for BIA-ALCL, but we know it's associated with textured implants.

Breast implant illness (BII)

Between 2008 and 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received reports from 1,080 women who had symptoms referred to as BII. Their symptoms included:

No one knows if silicone implants directly cause these symptoms. The FDA is actively monitoring the problem, while researchers keep studying BII to determine its cause.

Implant leaks

Implants are made to last more than a decade, and many last 20 years or longer. But the risk of an implant leak rises by 1% each year.

If you have a saline implant, your body absorbs the harmless fluid. Your breast noticeably changes, losing its size and shape as the saline leaks out.

A leak in a silicone implant is different. The thick silicone gel stays inside the implant or within the surrounding scar tissue, making it difficult to notice the rupture. In some cases, the silicone irritates the tissues, causing pain, swelling, lumps, and hardening.

Because you may not notice a silicone rupture, the FDA recommends having an ultrasound every two years to watch for signs of a leak.

If you have any questions about breast augmentation surgery, call Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton or book an appointment online today.

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