If you would like to find out about the side effects and potential risks of breast implants surgery, you will be interested in the information on this page.
Because breast implant surgery is more often carried out under general anaesthetic it has the same risks as other invasive surgical procedures, and in fact any kind of surgical procedure carries a small risk of infection. If the infection cannot be successfully treated with antibiotics the implant will probably be removed and replaced. The risk of infection is higher if a large haematoma (collection of blood) or seroma (collection of watery fluid) is present immediately after surgery. The body is able to absorb small haematomas or seromas but may need the help of a surgical drain to remove larger ones. Surgical draining can also increase the risk of deflation or rupturing.
It takes a few months for the breasts to settle after breast implant surgery and in the short term patients might experience some swelling, hardness and discomfort with some bruising, twinges and pains possibly over the first few weeks. If patients suffer excessive swelling, deflated breasts, offensive wound discharge or excessive pain or heat in their breast they should report these symptoms immediately to their surgeon or GP.
Most common risks
The most common risk with breast implants is Capsular Contracture, though this is low with modern implants which have a textured silicone shell. Capsular contracture is estimated to occur in around one in 10 women after breast implant surgery and requires further surgery to remove and replace the implant. It occurs when the scar tissue that naturally forms around the breast implant begins to shrink causing the implant to harden and sometimes deform.
Rupturing occurs when the breast implants split or tear but this does not necessarily create a medical problem as different fillers will react differently, and this was more common with early, thin-walled implants. The obvious risk from ruptured implants is that the contents of the implant will escape from the shell into the breast and cause siliconomas (small lumps) which in turn cause tenderness or pain in the breast. If this happens the implant needs to be taken out, but the firm silicon breast implants are less likely to cause these complications as they are designed to keep their shape even if the implant shell ruptures. In the majority of cases the silicone gel will remain within the capsule that the body forms and can be removed if the ruptured implant is removed.