Absolute contraindications for breast enhancement procedures Introduction Women have remained sensitive about their aesthetic appearance and body image for thousands of years. Cosmetic flaws in the body cause self-esteem issues for many women. The breasts are one of the most critical aesthetic areas of the female body. Smaller, poorly shaped, saggy, or asymmetrical breasts are common problems that affect millions of women. Today, the physical beauty of a woman is measured in terms of breast size, firmness, shape, and balance. Celebrities have further raised the standards for female beauty. To overcome the aesthetic flaws in their breasts and raise their self-esteem, many women go under the knife. Hundreds of thousands of women undergo breast enhancement procedures in the US every year. Breast enhancement procedures are highly invasive and entail risks; however, they have an excellent record of delivering satisfactory results. There are specific absolute contraindications for breast enhancement as well. Patients should be aware of these contraindications. Breast enhancement procedures There are different breast enhancement procedures for treating different aesthetic problems in the breasts. The absolute contraindications are almost the same for all of these procedures. To understand the contraindications, it is essential to get some insight into the procedures. The most common type of breast enhancement procedure is breast augmentation surgery. It involves placing artificial implants inside the breasts or fat transfer to the breasts. The goal is to add volume and projection to the breasts. The second common type of breast enhancement surgery is the breast lift. It is recommended for patients who have severely saggy breasts. The procedure involves removal of the excess skin and fat from the breasts and tightening the breast muscles. Then there is breast reduction surgery. Its goal is to reduce the size of overly large breasts and help the patient get rid of the associated physical and emotional discomforts. The procedure involves removal of the excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts. Given the invasive nature of breast enhancement, there are risks associated with the procedures. The risks can be in terms of aesthetics of the breasts and your health. It is vital for the patient to discuss the risks and contraindications with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. Absolute contraindications for breast enhancement procedures As mentioned above, there exist specific contraindications when it comes to breast enhancement procedures. During the pre-operative consultation, the plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and assess your overall health. Specific health and associated problems may disqualify you from the surgery because in such cases, the risks will be higher than the benefits. Patients must understand that breast enhancement is an elective procedure. Your health is most important and you should not take life-threatening risks. Below are the absolute contraindications for breast enhancement procedures: Existing, active infection in the breasts Whether the infection is limited to your skin or deep, you are not a good candidate for breast enhancement surgery. Performing breast enhancement on an infected breast will expose you to life-threatening risks. In such a case, the risk is higher than the benefits, so you must avoid the surgery. Instead, you should first seek treatment for the infection, and when the infection disappears, you can consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to analyze your candidacy for the surgery. Some people have a fragile immune system, which exposes them to possible infection. Those people should also avoid the operation, as the risk of disease during and after the procedure will be higher. Breast cancer or other serious tumors in the breast Performing breast enhancement surgery on a tumorous breast can make the condition worse and life-threatening. On the other hand, there is this myth that breast implants cause breast cancer. This is not true at all because no study has yet corroborated it. Body dysmorphic disorder Many people suffer from a body image disorder called body dysmorphic disorder. People suffering from this condition are never satisfied or happy with their physical appearance. As such, they seek many plastic surgeries, including breast enhancement. Even after undergoing dozens of procedures, they remain unhappy with their appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder is a contraindication for breast enhancement procedures. If you have this condition, you should seek treatment and therapy for the condition. Plastic surgery, including breast enhancement, can deliver you useful results but you will never be satisfied as you have a psychological disorder. Unrealistic and unachievable goals To be a good candidate for breast enhancement, your aesthetic goals must be realistic and achievable. During the pre-operative consultation, the plastic surgeon will ask how you feel about the cosmetic flaws in your breasts and what you expect the surgery to do for you. Unrealistic and unachievable goals are contraindications for breast enhancement. Many women ask plastic surgeons to help them achieve breasts that are same in size and appearance to that of celebrities. They often bring pictures of celebrities to the consultation session and tell the surgeons to make their breasts look like those in the pictures. Some patients even think that breast enhancement will transform them into someone else or make them a celebrity. These goals and expectations are unrealistic and unachievable. While breast enhancement can make your breasts beautiful and improve your overall body outline, they cannot transform you into a celebrity or someone else. Every individual has a unique breast and body anatomy and composition. Breast enhancement procedures are performed within that anatomy and structure. To be a good candidate for the surgery, your goals and expectations must be realistic, reasonable, and achievable. Radiation therapy to the breasts Performing enhancement procedures on breasts that were treated under radiation delivers worse results. Furthermore, it can cause surgical problems and increase the risk of capsular contracture. Patients who have undergone radiation therapy to the breasts are not good candidates for breast enhancement procedures. Smoking If you are a smoker and want to get breast enhancement surgery, the plastic surgeon will ask you whether you are willing to stop smoking at least two weeks before the surgery. If you are not willing to do so, it is an absolute contraindication. Smoking makes the recovery process complicated and can lead to aesthetic and health problems during and after the surgery. For example, it increases your risk of blood clotting and abnormal scarring. To be a good candidate for the surgery, you must be ready to stop smoking at least two weeks before the surgery. Severe blood disorder Blood disorders like severe forms of blood clotting and bleeding can expose you to life-threatening conditions during and after the surgery. For this reason, the plastic surgeon will advise you avoid going under the knife. Severe cardiac and pulmonary diseases While people with mild or moderate cardiac and pulmonary problems may still qualify for breast enhancement surgery, it is an absolute contraindication if the conditions are harsh. Breast enhancement procedures are performed under general anesthesia and are highly invasive and traumatic. Severe cardiac and pulmonary diseases can make the surgery highly risks and even life-threatening for the patient. Severe autoimmune disorder An autoimmune disease is a condition whereby your body’s natural defense system mistakes your organs and other body elements as foreign agents and attacks them, making them weaker and affecting their function. If you are having a severe form of autoimmune disease, you are not a good candidate because the risks will be higher. Conclusion The breasts are considered to be the signs of femininity and fertility. Many women seek breast enhancement procedures to overcome the aesthetic flaws in their breasts. However, not everyone is a good candidate. There are specific absolution contraindications for breast enhancement procedures. Those contraindications have been discussed above. You should go under the procedure only when the risks are lower than the benefits.