The Naked Truth about Implants

With more than 300,000 breast augmentations performed in the United States each year for both reconstructive and cosmetic reasons, it has become the most common plastic surgery procedure. Therefore, complications from breast augmentation are an issue that is impacting a significant number of, largely uninformed and unsuspecting women,” say’s Dallas Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Burns.

Any time you introduce a foreign material into your body, there’s a potential for problems to develop. Breast implants are no different, and issues can arise from both silicone and saline implants due to both the materials used and the potential for bacteria and fungus to increase.

If you are considering or preparing to receive breast augmentation surgery, it is best to be aware of complications that may arise. In doing so, you are able to avoid some by proper planning or at least be better equipped to deal with problems if they arise. You may even be able to identify a complication early and allow your practitioner to address it before it becomes too serious.

Common Complications

Capsular Contracture

Symptoms of capsular contracture usually emerge slowly and may first be noticed as a high-riding or misshapen breast. As firmness increases, the breasts may feel tight or even painful, especially when you are lying on them. The breasts can appear very round and visible rippling may also occur. There are only a few non-surgical treatments for capsular contracture. The only treatment that guarantees the condition won’t return is the permanent removal of the implants and surrounding scar tissue.

To Decrease Your Risk of Capsular Contracture:

  • Ask your surgeon about placing breast implants under the pectoral muscles
  • Consider Textured Implants as they can lower your risk for capsular contracture
  • Allow antibiotics to be used prior to or after surgery per surgeon’s instructions
  • Gently massage implant beginning shortly after surgery
  • Compression exercises to keep implant flexible and loose

Rupture or Deflation of Implant

Breast implants rupture when the shell develops a tear or hole. Symptoms of rupture are These symptoms include hard knots or lumps surrounding the implant or in the armpit, change or loss of size or shape of the breast or implant, pain, tingling, swelling, numbness, burning, or hardening of the breast. Rupture can occur at any time after implantation, but they are more likely to occur the longer the implant is implanted. Excessive force to the chest, damage by surgical instruments or folding or wrinkling of the implant shell may cause implants to rupture. Breast implants may also simply wear out over time.

To Decrease Your Risk for Rupture:

  • Avoid high impact sports that may cause excessive force to the chest
  • When you have a mammogram, let the technician know you have implants
  • Have an MRI every 2-3 years with silicone implants
  • Be prepared to receive new implants or removal after 10 years

Local Complications

Implant wrinkling, asymmetry, scarring, pain, and infection at the incision site. These local complications often result in additional surgery or implant removal.

To Decrease Your Risk for Local Complications:

  • Inform your surgeon of family history and concerns
  • Follow all pre and post-surgery protocols
  • If you notice any abnormal changes in your breasts, see your doctor promptly

Lowering your risks for complications begin with seeing a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Dr. John Burns is a Dallas Plastic Surgeon and Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Burns is a member of the prestigious Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute. To schedule a consultation for breast augmentation with Dr. Burns, click on his profile or call his office at 214-515-0002. Dr. John Burns has been named Top10MD for two years – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors in the United States succeed with this recognition in the United States.