Breast augmentation is a popular procedure for women who want a larger chest and more curves. This procedure helps them to feel more confident in their appearance, and thousands of women have breast augmentation annually.
If you are thinking about breast augmentation, you probably know silicone or saline implants are usually used. Most women are pleased with the surgery and have no significant problems.
While the body well tolerates these devices, there are risks that we cover below.
What Can Breast Implants Do?
Many women want breast implants to improve their appearance. Breast implants can enhance the projection and fullness of the breasts and balance the proportions between the breasts and hips.
The procedure also may enhance your self-confidence and self-esteem. But keep in mind that the procedure cannot improve breast sagging. It also won’t help if you are overly critical of your body.
Your surgeon will talk to you about your needs and goals to determine if breast implants will improve your situation.
Preparing For Breast Augmentation
Your surgeon will talk to you about the different types of breast implants and their benefits and risks.
Some things you should consider before having breast implants are:
- Implants won’t prevent your breasts from sagging: As you age, your breasts will sag somewhat as the tissue relaxes and becomes looser. This issue also often happens after pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you have sagging, your surgeon may recommend a breast lift, too.
- Implants don’t last forever. While this surgery is considered permanent, breast implants usually need to be replaced within 10 or 15 years. On rare occasions, the implant can even rupture.
- Breastfeeding may be more difficult: Some women can breastfeed after breast implants, but it can be challenging, depending on the type of incision used.
- You may need more surgery: The implants may need to be replaced, and some women want them removed when they get older.
- Insurance doesn’t usually cover the procedure: Most breast augmentations are cosmetic, and insurance won’t pay. However, if you have breast reconstruction after cancer or an accident, your insurance may cover it.
Breast Implant Risks
After the procedure, you will need a few weeks to recover. The most common initial side effects of breast augmentation are:
- Swelling and bruising for two or three weeks
- Temporary pain, but your surgeon will provide prescription pain medication
- Tight feeling in the chest
You will need to take it easy and not engage in vigorous workouts for a month or so. Plan on taking a week off of work, too.
While most patients have no serious long-term problems, some breast implant risks are:
- Excessive scarring that does not fade after a year
- Capsular contracture, where the capsule around the implant hardens
- Noticeable folds and creases around the breast implant
- Infection that requires removal of the device
- Not being able to breastfeed
- Not liking the results and needing correction surgery
- Nerve damage in the breasts and nipples
Your surgeon will discuss the risks and side effects with you. Remember that if you choose an experienced plastic surgeon, the chances of significant problems are minimal.
Breast Implants And Rejection
Doctors say that medically, your body doesn’t ‘reject breast implants.’ Medical rejection means when the immune system reacts to foreign tissue. For instance, there can be a rejection after a heart or kidney transplant.
Saline and silicone breast implants are made from neutral materials well tolerated by the human body. While the body can have an inflammatory reaction to implants, this isn’t a rejection.
Breast implants are made from the same materials as many medical devices that are well tolerated by the body.
However, when the implant is placed in the chest, your body’s natural reaction is to surround it with scar tissue to isolate it from the body. This reaction consists of a membrane called a capsule.
This action is expected and always happens; there’s nothing that can and should be done to prevent the body from forming the capsule around the implant.
The advantage of the fibrous tissue that forms around the implant is to keep it safe and secure in the body.
However, a common problem after breast implants is if the body creates too much scar tissue around the implant. This issue, called capsular contracture, can deform the breast implant and even cause pain. The problem can happen months or years after breast surgery.
Capsular contracture doesn’t mean your body rejected the implant, though. Instead, this is how the body isolates the implant safely from the rest of the body. Most patients don’t experience capsular contracture, but it is a risk.
If you’re worried that your immune system could react to the implant and reject it, this won’t happen.
It’s vital to know if you consider breast augmentation that modern implants are approved by the FDA and safe. This means there will never be a rejection or immune system reaction when the implants are put in the body.
Also, the silicone implant shell is well tolerated by the human body. So, you don’t have to ever worry about the rejection of implants.
If you are thinking about this procedure, you also may want to consider liposuction. Removing excess fat from the abdomen, legs, and flanks can improve the appearance of the breasts.
Request A Breast Implant Consultation
Thinking about breast implants in Beverly Hills? Dr. Nicholas Lahar is pleased to provide plastic surgery procedures to his Beverly Hills patients. He will discuss your aesthetic goals during your consultation and help you decide if breast augmentation is right for you.
About Breast Augmentation. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/breast-augmentation/about
Breast Augmentation Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-augmentation/procedure
Breast Augmentation Risks. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321610