Breast Augmentation Risks and Side Effects

Breast Augmentation Risks and Side Effects

Breast augmentation has become one of the most popular plastic surgeries today, particularly now that a variety of implants are available to meet a patient's unique needs. For the most part, breast augmentation is considered a relatively safe procedure with little potential for complications. However, like any cosmetic procedure, breast augmentation does come with a degree of risk. Plastic Surgery Portal has a list of the risks to watch out for, and tips for reducing your risk by choosing the best plastic surgeon for the job.

Risks of Anesthesia
Breast augmentation may either be done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation. Patients who opt for general anesthesia do increase their risk of anesthesia-related complications somewhat. These complications might include:

  • Aspiration (occurs when fluid or an object is inhaled into the respiratory tract)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Nausea or vomiting

These risks tend to be higher in patients with preexisting medical conditions. If you are concerned about the risks of anesthesia, talk to your doctor about whether local anesthesia and sedation would be appropriate for your surgery.

General Plastic Surgery Risks
Any surgery includes some degree of risk, although complications from procedures are usually rare. Surgical risks might include:

  • Excessive bleeding or swelling
  • Infection
  • Hematoma or blood clots
  • Tissue death
  • Scarring after the procedure

Most of these risks can be effectively minimized by choosing an experienced plastic surgeon with a good surgical track record. It is also important to evaluate the facility where the procedure will take place, to ensure the highest degree of care is provided. While scarring is inevitable with any surgical procedure, talk to the doctor about where the incisions will be placed to ensure the scars are in an inconspicuous location.

Specific Risks of Breast Augmentation
Finally, there are specific risks that directly apply to the breast augmentation procedure. These potential complications vary slightly, based on the type of procedure performed and the type of implant used. Some of the most common risks associated with breast augmentation include:

  • Loss of sensation in the breast or nipple area
  • Difficulty breast feeding after the procedure
  • Interference with mammogram screenings
  • Breast implant leakage (particularly with saline implants)
  • Breast implant rupture
  • Inflammation of a blood vessel (known as Mondor's cord)
  • Rippling or irregularities in breast contour
  • Dissatisfaction with the results of the surgery

Some of these breast augmentation risks, like leakage and ruptures, may be more common with saline implants than with silicone implants. Others, like Mondor's cord, will usually resolve itself on its own. All of the risks can be minimized by choosing a doctor who is highly trained and experienced in breast enhancement procedures.

Tips for Choosing a Breast Augmentation Surgeon
To help minimize common breast augmentation risks and side effects, choose a doctor based on the following criteria:

  • Level of training and experience in the specific procedure you want
  • Board certification that indicates the doctor graduated from a reputable medical school and has ample training and experience in cosmetic surgery
  • Before and after photos of previous patients that showcase the doctor's skills in breast augmentation specifically
  • Comprehensive pre- and post-operative instructions to improve patient's recovery and overall results

When you take the time to select the right plastic surgeon for your breast enlargement, you can rest assured the risks involved with the surgery will be minimal. An experienced surgeon will be able to provide the results you are hoping for while safely identifying and guarding against common breast augmentation risks. Contact us today to meet with a trusted, board-certified breast augmentation specialist near you.

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