Breast augmentation is one of the most—if not the absolute most—popular plastic surgery procedures in the world. Just about everyone agrees that “bigger is better,” or at least that “perkier is better,” and millions of women around the world have gone under the knife in order to achieve more perfect proportions. Countless celebrities and ordinary people alike have undergone these kinds or surgeries, particularly the installation of breast implants. However, few realize the actual dangers that come with this purely cosmetic procedure. How much are you willing to risk for the perfect body? Here is a brief list of the ways in which breast augmentation can cause many more problems than it solves.
Calcification: Calcification is the buildup of calcium that can occur around the are oaf the implant. These often-painful spots usually present as hard lumps under the skin of the breast and can even be mistaken for cancerous growths. This results in added stress and worry about the possibility of being labeled with the frightening diagnosis of cancer, not tomention the possibility of further unnecessary surgeries, such as biopsies, in order to see whether or not you may have cancer. In one study, it was found that over fifteen percent of patients given silicone gel breast implants during a span of fifteen years suffered form this harrowing complication.
Capsular Contracture: This term sounds clinical and confusing, but is easily explained. Capsular contracture happens when the tissue capsule around the implant tightens up. This results in the breast becoming firmer or harder in feel. If severe, it can result in the squeezing of the implant itself, which can put you in danger for rupture (more on that later).
Chest Wall Deformity: This complication of breast augmentation surgery is just as bad as it sounds. Chest wall deformity happens when the chest wall (the structure of your chest tissue behind or underneath the breast) becomes misshapen or begins to appear deformed after surgery. It can also affect the appearance of the rib cage as well. This complication can severely alter one’s figure, totally erasing any of the flattering effects of breast augmentation that the patient was seeking out in the first place and causing them to need additional surgeries.
Change in Sensation: This is a concerning and all too real side effect that occurs in many cases of breast augmentation. Damage to certain nerves can cause extreme changes in the sensitivity of the nipple or the whole breast. Many women experience “dead nipple,” where the nipple completely loses sensation because it had to be cut away from the rest of the breast to have its position changed and, unfortunately, did not reattach successfully. Other women experience a heightened sensitivity in their breast and/or nipple area that causes discomfort or pain and, sometimes, difficulty wearing clothing over that area. These issues can even affect sexual response or breastfeeding on a permanent basis. These issues are usually very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.
Rupture: This is probably one of those side effects that you have heard about with cosmetic surgery procedures involving an implant. Sometimes, an implant’s outer shell will tear or develop a hole. This can cause the contents of the implant (if it is liquid) to leak out into the body cavity. Many unfortunate plastic surgery patients suffer from leaking of saline or other solutions into their chest cavity or other parts of the body. The liquid can even migrate to areas of the body that are far away from the implant area. There have even been reports that silicone was found in the blood of patients who had been given silicone implants.
Breast Tissue Atrophy: This is probably one of the most unpleasant of all of the possible complications that can occur after a breast augmentation. Atrophy of the breast tissue is a complication that, unfortunately, many patients suffer from after undergoing cosmetic procedures on the breast area. It consists of a thinning and shrinking of the skin around the breast and is very difficult to correct. Atrophy is a huge issue and will only cause a patient to have to under go even more procedures in order to get back to optimum health.
This is just a small number of the side effects and complications that are possible when undergoing cosmetic surgery on the breast. From hard lumps and bumps to leaky bags of goo, there are more than a few different reasons to be cautious about the idea of undergoing surgery that is not medically necessary.
Still have questions? Here is a list of local surgeons that can answer your questions.
Dr Stephen Miller
Peter Fodor MD