While extreme side effects and problems are rare after breast augmentation, no surgery is without risks. The best breast augmentation patients are those who research their procedures diligently and understand these risks.
This not only allows them to see a potential issue from further away (and get assistance to fix that issue faster), but it also helps these patients prevent more complications in the first place.
Knowledge is power, and those who are well-educated about the potential risks of breast augmentation usually end up taking better care of themselves during recovery, thus preventing any complications in the first place.
Potential Complications After Breast Augmentation
Infection. If you notice increasing redness, warmth, swelling, or persistent fever, it could be a sign of infection at the surgical site.
Hematoma. An accumulation of blood around the implant may lead to pain, swelling, and bruising. This can occur shortly after surgery or in the days following.
Seroma. A collection of fluid around the implant might cause excessive swelling, discomfort, and a feeling of heaviness in the chest.
Capsular Contracture. If your breasts become firm, painful, or develop an abnormal shape, it could indicate the development of scar tissue around the implant.
Implant Rupture. For saline implants, sudden deflation or noticeable changes in breast shape may signal implant rupture. For a silicone breast implant rupture, a silent rupture can occur without visible symptoms, so it’s important to get routine imaging tests of the breast tissue.
Implant Displacement. If one or both breast implants shift or move from their original position, it may result in asymmetry.
Delayed Wound Healing. Slow healing, open incisions, or wound breakdown should be promptly addressed with your surgeon.
Nipple and Breast Sensation Changes. Temporary or permanent changes in nipple or breast sensation, including increased or decreased sensitivity, can occur.
Scarring. While having a breast implant scar is normal, excessive scarring or hypertrophic scarring may require treatment.
Severe Pain and Discomfort. Some level of pain and discomfort is to be expected after surgery, but severe, persistent, or one-sided pain should be reported to your surgeon.
Side Effects to Watch Out For
Normal breast augmentation side effects for breast implant patients include swelling, bruising, and some discomfort and pressure. Let’s go over some abnormal symptoms of breast augmentation complications so that you know what to look out for during your recovery.
Having one or more of these symptoms does not always mean that something is wrong, but it never hurts to reach out to your surgeon if you are concerned.
- Severe or one-sided pain
- Swelling that won’t go down
- Bruising that doesn’t go away
- Persistent high fever
- Intense, persistent redness and warmth around incision sites
- Implant displacement
- Delayed wound healing
- Significant changes in breast size or shape
- Lasting changes in breast or nipple sensitivity
- Excessive scarring
- Longterm symptoms possibly related to breast implant illness (BII)
- Longterm symptoms potentially related to breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) (Some patients may choose to avoid textured breast implants to mitigate this risk altogether.)
- Symptoms of breast cancer (These symptoms may not be associated with having implants per se, but implants may complicate a breast cancer diagnosis and require additional breast surgery such as breast implant removal, a mastectomy, and/or breast reconstruction.)
How to Avoid Breast Augmentation Complications
Choose a Qualified Surgeon
Select a board-certified breast augmentation surgeon with extensive experience in breast augmentation.
Select the Proper Implant Sizing
Work closely with your surgeon to choose the right breast implant size and shape of breast implants.
Follow Pre-operative Instructions
Adhere to all pre-operative guidelines provided by your surgeon to ensure optimal conditions for surgery.
Follow Post-operative Care Instructions
Follow post-operative care instructions diligently, including medications and wound care.
Attend Regular Follow-Up Appointments
Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon for monitoring and early detection of any issues.
You’ll see in breast augmentation complications pictures that capsular contracture is one of the most common problems patients deal with. To help prevent this issue, massage may be recommended by your surgeon.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise to support overall well-being and recovery.
Emotional and Mental Complications After Breast Augmentation
While emotional and mental complications after breast implant surgery may not be as urgent as physical ones, it’s still important to be aware that some patients may face these non-physical struggles.
Feeling Out of Place in Your Own Skin
It’s not uncommon for individuals who have undergone breast augmentation surgery to experience a period of adjustment where they might feel disconnected or “out of place” in their own bodies. This can be due to the sudden change in physical appearance, which can take time to get used to.
Patients may initially feel like their new breasts don’t belong to them, and this can lead to a range of emotions, including anxiety and self-doubt. It’s crucial for patients to understand that these feelings are normal during the initial phases of post-operative recovery and that they often subside as they become accustomed to their new appearance.
Worrying and Feeling Anxious About Your Results
The desire for absolutely perfect results is not uncommon among plastic surgery patients. And some individuals may find themselves worrying excessively about the outcome, constantly questioning whether their choice of implant size or shape was correct. This anxiety can lead to feelings of regret or self-consciousness.
To address this, open communication with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation is crucial. Surgeons can help patients set realistic expectations and choose implant options that align with their goals, reducing post-operative anxiety. Additionally, patients should remember that it takes time for the final results to fully manifest, and initial appearances may not accurately represent the long-term outcome.
Having Regrets About Sizing
In some cases, we have patients who say, “I wish I went bigger after breast augmentation.” First of all, to avoid this regret, make sure you study exactly what you want in terms of your outcome before settling on your final implant choice. Be sure to relay this to Dr. Schulman. Ask questions, try out different sizes, and look at a lot of breast augmentation before and after photos to become familiar with what you’re looking for.
Next, if you really do regret going too small once your surgery has been completed, voice your concerns with Dr. Schulman. In some cases, certain implants can be adjusted without requiring removal. Fat transfer breast augmentation is another option. And finally, you can always opt for a revision surgery to get bigger implants.
Set Up Your Consultation With Dr. Schulman
Considering getting implants? Before you focus too much on potential breast augmentation risks, you must first figure out if you’re a candidate for this surgery, and that means scheduling a consultation appointment with Dr. Matthew Schulman.
Call today to book your one-on-one visit with Dr. Schulman and start your journey toward the brand-new you today.