Breast Augmentation Risks
Breast implants are medical devices. Like all medical devices, they provide certain benefits but also pose certain health risks. If you are considering breast implant surgery it is very important to understand the nature and extent of these risks before you make a decision. The decision to choose breast implant surgery can only be made by you in consultation with your doctor.
The short suggestion is: Just Say No to Breast Implants. The longer suggestion is to print off this page, put it on your fridge and read it frequently.
Potential Risks Related to Breast Augmentation
Research the risks before deciding on breast implant surgery so that you can make an informed decision.
Breast implants are not considered to be lifetime devices. Whether implant surgery is for the purpose of reconstruction or augmentation you will likely need additional surgeries and visits to your surgeon over time. At some point your implants will probably have to be removed and you will have to decide whether or not to replace them.
In addition, most women with breast implants will experience complications of some kind. These include rupture, pain, disfigurement, serious infections, and a condition called capsular contracture. This is a tightening of the scar tissue, or capsule, that the body forms around breast implants.
Before you decide to go forward with breast implant surgery, you should also consider the following:
- Many of the changes to the shape of the breast after implantation are irreversible.
- Removal of the implants may leave unacceptable dimpling, puckering, wrinkling, or other cosmetic changes to the breast.
- Breast implants may affect your ability to produce milk for breastfeeding.
- Breast implants make routine screening mammography more difficult.
- Breast implant surgery carries the same general risks as other surgical procedures. Check with your doctor for more information about the standard risks.
- Some women believe breast implants cause systemic illnesses such as autoimmune disease or connective tissue disease. To date, there is no definite proof that this is the case.
Minimizing Your Risks
Surgery of any kind is serious and should be considered carefully. When you finish your research, give yourself a cooling off period of several weeks before you commit to surgery.
You and your surgeon should both sign the informed consent form and you should keep a copy for your records. All breast implants contain a patient labeling insert which identifies all potential risks related to breast implant surgery. You should take the time to read it carefully before making a decision.
However, the best way to minimize your risk is to decide against augmentation surgery altogether. After that, really, really think long and hard about getting breast implants before proceeding. Then, hopefully, you will change your mind. Note that 51% of women having augmentation surgery report complications that require further surgery. And 40% of women who get implants have them removed due to dissatisfaction.
The scarring is for life. There can be permanent damage to your nipples. Instead, try and find a way to be satisfied with your breasts the way they are, natural and unique to you.