What are the risks of Breast Implants?
Some consider getting breast implants as minor surgery. Even though it’s invasive, the incisions and recovery period involved are not so bad as some of the more invasive procedures are. But the term surgery is the spell-breaker here. Surgery is still surgery, whether very invasive or moderately invasive. Incisions are still needed and, of course, the recovery period is important. This entails risks, dangers that must be identified and addressed if the operation is to be a success.
As with any kind of surgery, there is the risk of infection. Breast augmentation is invasive and requires incisions. It’s these incisions which are the primary nexus for infection. The implants can also be factors in bringing infectious microorganisms to the patient, especially if the implant is not properly sanitized. This risk is addressed by making sure that everything is sterilized and through the use of antibiotics. There are other physical risks as well, such as hematomas, inflammation and delayed wound healing. The surgeon can minimize these risks by following the correct procedure in performing the operation.
The aesthetic risks are much harder to address than the others since no one, not even the surgeon, can anticipate what they are. Nobody can prepare for any individual risk; therefore they must be ready for all eventualities. These aesthetic risks include asymmetry of the implant, asymmetry of the final appearance itself, wrinkling of the breast and sagging.
Sometimes, saline implants can be overfilled and this carries the risk of bursting and subsequent infection. Saline implants are usually filled near to the maximum level because it feels and looks more natural, even to the wearer of the implant. Overfilling can happen if the surgeon becomes adventurous or the woman is willing to take the risk of overfilling just to feel more natural. If the implant bursts, the risk of infection will come from the filling, which is a saline or salt solution, but not the shell.
There is also a risk of malposition of the implant, especially if the surgeon chosen to do the job has little experience or skill. This is usually not apparent until the wounds have healed. If this is the case, the only solution would be to repeat the procedure. This would prove more costly to the patient, particularly since these kinds of surgery cannot be insured because they are elective.
There are other, less common risks such as deformation of the chest and ribcage. This is sometimes due to the procedure which leaves scar and other kinds of tissue behind, disfiguring the other tissues and the chest. Other risks include extrusion or appearance of the implant through a break in the skin, necrosis of the tissue around the implant, fluids collecting on the area around the implant and visibility of the implant through the skin. These are hard to anticipate and prepare for since they rarely manifest but they are a nuisance, to say the least. The surgeon must educate his patient on the risks involved in getting breast implants, since resolving these issues will involve more of the woman’s time, money and patience.