What are the possible side effects of breast augmentation?

What are the possible side effects of breast augmentation?

03rd Aug 2017

Lately, the breast augmentation procedure is an intervention so frequently performed that the risks and side effects have dropped significantly. Today, we have decided to discuss and share some information about the risks and effects of this procedure.

As with any other surgical intervention, the breast augmentation surgery is associated with certain risks and side effects. The incidence rate of the complications of the breast augmentation surgery is actually small, but we still need to be aware of the risks before deciding to undergo the surgery.

Risks and side effects of the breast augmentation procedure

Bleeding, bruises, edema, infection, and hematoma are the most frequent side effects of this type of surgical intervention. As mentioned, their incidence is quite small at about 0.5%. In rare cases, a severe infection can occur that will require the removal of the implant for a short period of time or permanently. Consequently, most plastic surgeons will prescribe antibiotics before and after the surgical interventions of breast augmentation to prevent infection. This is a common practice that is quite effective in preventing infections at the incision site.

On the other hand, massive bleeding around the implant can occur during the first 12 hours after the surgery and it causes severe swelling of the breasts. This situation will require another surgical intervention to treat the condition.

Silicone implant leaking

Nowadays, the risk of silicone leaking has become very rare as a result of the manufacturers using materials of high quality, which means they are thicker and prevent leaking, not even when there is a rupture. Still, in rare cases, a leaking of the silicone implant is possible after the breast augmentation procedure, causing a modification in the shape of the breasts or the appearance of formations near the implant.

To make sure there are no leaks on the implant, the patient will have to get an MRI. An echography can also indicate if there are leaks of silicone, but it is not as precise a method as the MRI. If the silicone implant has a rupture and is leaking, a revision surgery will be necessary to replace the implant with a new one.

Sagging of the breasts

This natural process occurs in women who have gone through breast augmentation surgery despite suffering from breast ptosis. Some patients can barely notice it, while others can be confronted with very obvious breast sagging. The patients who chose breast augmentation with huge implants may end up with significant and early sagging of the breasts. Fortunately, breast sagging can be corrected with the help of mastopexy, otherwise known as the breast lifting surgery.

Change in sensitivity

After the breast augmentation procedure, it is likely for the patient to notice a change of sensitivity in their breast area, especially around the nipple. The patient can actually experience either a lack of sensitivity or hypersensitivity, but in most cases, they will regain their normal sensation after a few weeks or months. In a few rare cases though, this can last up to 18 months, and in even more rare cases, the change in sensitivity can be permanent.

Capsular contracture

This is the most well-known side effect of the breast augmentation procedure. For some patients, a shell is created around the implant after the surgical intervention. This is actually a normal and natural phenomenon that occurs when a foreign object is inserted into our body.

Having said that, this capsule occasionally hardens and contracts, thereby causing discomfort in the breast area. While this all might sound terrible, the phenomenon is not dangerous, nor is it life-threatening. In the past, the capsular contracture was a common occurrence after breast augmentation with silicone implants. These days, the incidence rate has dropped from 20% to just 3%. Usually the signs of the capsular contracture can be spotted after the first six months of the surgical intervention, but they can also occur after many years. The cause of this phenomenon is still unknown, but we do know what to do in order to reduce the chances of capsular contracture occurrence. Massages on the breast area has proven to be quite effective in preventing the capsular contracture. The plastic surgeon will offer you instructions about the proper method to do the massage, which involves a series of short movements. The massage should be performed twice a day. The purpose of the massage is to help the implant settle into the pocket.


In some cases, the inability to breastfeed can be a side effect of the breast augmentation with implants. At the same time, the patient should be aware of the fact that even if the patient can breastfeed, prolonged breastfeeding after the procedure can alter the results of the surgery.

Delayed wound healing

Abnormal scars, wound opening, scars with skin folds can also be side effects of the breast augmentation surgery. In case the patient is confronted with any of these symptoms after the intervention, she should contact the plastic surgeon as soon as possible because it can adversely affect the final results.


All plastic surgeries come with side effects and potential risks. Patients should be well aware of them before deciding to undergo the breast augmentation procedure. When considering the breast enhancement with breast implants, you should know that there are some additional complications associated specifically with this procedure. Nevertheless, more and more women each day decide that the side effects are a minor inconvenience compared to the great amount of benefits they get after getting bigger, rounder breasts.

The most common side effects of the breast augmentation surgery with implants are capsular contracture, delayed wound healing, sagging of the breasts and changes in sensitivity at the level of the breasts. Most of these side effects can be avoided by choosing a talented, experienced plastic surgeon, but there are others that simply can’t be prevented. For this reason, revision surgery is required in some cases to treat certain conditions. The removal and replacement of the implants might be required when the implants ruptures or in the cases of excessive bleeding after the surgery. These are all side effects you need to weigh in before proceeding with the surgery. It is always better to come prepared as it can affect the results of your surgery.

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