What risks are associated with breast augmentation surgery?

Breast Augmentation is a popular procedure and can be extremely gratifying; however, as with all surgical procedure, there can be risks.

At Cadogan Clinic we strive to reduce any possible risks of side effects this includes selecting only the best surgeons to work with, offering day case only procedures which not only allows you to recover quicker, but reduces the risk of infection, establishing aftercare support and scar minimisation programmes.

Implant Choice

Choice of implant is of great importance, of course. The risk of implants have been highlighted by the recent PIP crisis. Due to concerns of their quality, Cadogan Clinic has never used PIP implants. We only use FDA approved implants.

Our implants of choice are with Allergan or Sillimed. During your consultation, our surgeons will discuss the implants they recommend and perform a sizing to ensure you are happy with the size of your new breasts.

Complications of Breast Augmentation

Complications are normally infrequent when carried out on well-selected patients in an appropriate environment with good support staff and facilities. However, irrespective of the surgeon, patient or institute in which the surgery is carried out, complications can occur and patients must be well informed.

Early problems include haematoma – collection of blood in the breast. If it occurs, it usually happens in the first 24 hours after surgery. This normally requires a trip back to the operating theatre to wash out and deal with any possible source of bleeding – it is uncommon to have to do this.

Occasionally, implants can move out of position early on and require replacement – this will necessitate further surgery.

Infection, although unusual, is a recognised complication in about 1-2% of cases. If it happens it normally occurs within the first 10 days after surgery, although occasionally implants can become infected months and years afterwards.

Significant capsule formation over time occurs in about 10% of individuals. A capsule is a fibrous layer that the body forms around a foreign body such as a breast implant; normally it remains soft and imperceptible. After some time it can harden and contract, distorting the shape and feel of the breast. In such cases, the capsule will need to be removed and the implant replaced.

Rippling of the implant can occur. Occasionally, in people with little breast tissue and thin skin, the implant can be felt and seen below the skin and a rippling effect is sometimes evident. This can be more evident in certain types of implants and may require replacement with an alternative.

Implants can rupture over time – in the majority of cases, this probably goes unnoticed. This is not serious or a health risk, but may cause a change in shape or feel of the implant necessitating its removal – it is usually due to bulging of the silicone gel from its outer shell through the capsule mentioned above.

The nipple sensation can be affected following breast augmentation – some women report reduced sensation, whilst others report a slightly increased or hypersensitive nipple. Normally, these changes are temporary but occasionally can be long-lasting. Although the same volume implants are used at the time of surgery on both sides, minor asymmetry between the two breasts is still possible; indeed where there is slight asymmetry pre-operatively, implantation can sometimes accentuate the difference.

Natural looking breast augmentation is possible via a range of techniques. A pocket underneath the breast is created in order to accommodate the implant. Depending on the breast shape and size, the implant is placed either below the breast tissue or beneath the pectoral muscle on top of which the breast sits. The size and the shape of the implant is also crucial to obtaining a natural result this will be discussed before the operation. In the case of natural fat transfer, there is no artificial implant and the end results will be much more similar to how you were before. However, natural breast augmentation has limits on the possible size and shape.

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