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Breast Implant Complications Overview

As with any surgical procedure, no matter how routine it may be, breast augmentation comes with the possibility of side effects. Many patients who receive breast implants do not experience any serious complications as a result of their surgery, but some do and it’s important to know about these potential risks before going forward.

See why the new silicone implants are safe and do not leak if punctured

Complications and Adverse Effects of Surgery

Implants can lead to the development of complications or adverse effects in roughly 1% of all patients, causing problems that may need to be addressed through further surgery or medical attention. Patients are usually advised to discuss these risks with their Plastic Surgeon before deciding to move ahead with the procedure. To determine if the procedure is suitable, weigh the benefits against the potential for complications.

Common complications that are related to most surgery:

With all surgeries, there is a risk of bleeding or infection. Bleeding around the implant usually occurs within a few hours after surgery, enlarging the breast quite noticeably. Fortunately, Dr. Edelstein can’t recall ever taking someone back to the operating room for this problem. To help prevent infection, you will be given a dose of intravenous antibiotics just before the surgery starts, and then you’ll take it by pill for a few days afterwards. This usually prevents infection.

Seroma is a condition involving the collection of clear tissue fluid around the implant that may need to be drained. It is also uncommon.

Temporary bruising and/or swelling is common. Pain affecting the nipple and breast usually subsides quickly. Rashes on or around the breast, delayed wound healing, and changes in normal sensation (which are usually temporary) can also occur.

Complications that are more specific to breast implants

Capsular contracture:

Capsular contracture involves scarring and tightening around the implant, causing the breast to feel firm and sometimes look abnormally round or elevated. This can sometimes be treated without surgery, but if the problem persists, may require another operation.

Rupture and/or deflation:

The longer an implant is in place the more likely it is that a rupture can occur, but it is fairly uncommon prior to 15 years for all implant types. Rupture of saline-filled implants are easier to detect as they will deflate and the breast appears to get smaller within a day or two. The newer silicone cohesive gel-filled implants appear to be quite resistant to rupture. If the shell does crack for some reason, it would be harder to detect since the gel usually does not leak out, the breast doesn’t change its shape, and there are no symptoms. These implants should be monitored on an ongoing basis by your surgeon, particularly beyond 15 years.

Aesthetic problems:

While qualified surgeons are able to provide patients with the type of results they seek, some aesthetic and/or textural problems can develop regardless of how well surgery has been performed. In some cases, patients will be left with asymmetrical breasts (uneven shape, size or height), a “rippling” or wrinkling effect that can be felt or seen, or an unattractive scar.

Consult With Us

Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery Canada procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon. Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-4194 or by clicking here.

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    Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon.
    Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-5614 or by filling in this quick form.

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