For many women breast implants are a means for them to live a normal life. Breast implants provide a psychological uplift to women who have undergone mastectomy due to breast cancer or congenital breast defects. There are transsexual men who undergo breast surgery to become women. And finally, there are women who are just unhappy with their breasts and wish for something bigger and better. No matter which category these women fall into, surgical breast implants carry a substantial risk factor in terms of side effects that need to be observed to weight the costs against the benefits.
To be honest, there are a multitude of side effects that are associated with breast implants, ranging from minor pain all the way to death. So even though it is smart to familiarize yourself with the possible complications of the procedure, one must remember that most of the side effects mentioned in the fine print are merely cautionary. Discussed below are some of the more frequently occurring issues during or post breast surgery.
No breast implant is permanent. A silicone implant may rupture, while a saline implant may deflate at any moment. While most implanted breasts last for a good 10-15 years, not every woman may be so lucky. The risk of rupture or deflation depends on the surgeon and the safety with which the surgery was performed. That being said, ruptures may also occur post-surgery if the patient puts too much stress on her breasts through intense physical exercise or massage.
This is one of the most common problems that patients face post surgery. It occurs when fibrous tissue forms around the implant and tightens, causing the implant to squeeze. While the cause of such a formation is still unknown, the process can be highly uncomfortable and painful for the patient and may result in the deflation or deformation of the breast. It is important to consult a surgeon or physician in the case of a capsular contracture, and not try to massage the breast as this may cause further deflation or folds.
Wrinkling and Folds
Wrinkling and folds are more commonly seen in saline implants, as they are not pre-filled like their silicone counterparts. Under-filling of saltwater in saline implants is the main cause of such side effects. Apart from being aesthetically displeasing, folds and wrinkles may also lead to deflation of the breasts.
As with any surgical procedure, there is risk of infection on the operated area. This infection may present itself within weeks, months or even years of the surgery. Seeing as to how unpredictable these infections can be, patients who have undergone surgery should remain on the lookout for pain, fever, tenderness, erythema and fluid accumulation as possible signs of future infection.
Breast-feeding and cancer detection
Breast implant surgery is known to have an adverse effect on natural procedures such as breast-feeding and breast cancer detection due to the presence of a foreign substance in place of the breast. While the problems in breast-feeding have not been clinically proven, they have been observed in many women who have been through such surgery. This is due to the changes in breast sensation that occur due to surgery. In the case of detecting breast cancer, women who perform regular screenings run the risk of rupturing their implants under the pressure of the mammogram.
Finally, women are always at risk of being left dissatisfied with what they get.Scarring, asymmetry, incorrect size or contour may be expected during surgery. For picky women, pre-planning the procedure and results of the surgery is advised, so that any later unhappiness can be avoided. Also, women must psychologically prepare themselves for imperfection even as they step into a surgical procedure that allows them to enhance their beauty.