American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Breast Augmentation

Augmentation Mammaplasty

Breast augmentation, sometimes referred to as a "boob job" by patients, involves using breast implants or fat transfer to enhance your breasts.

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What are the risks of breast augmentation?

The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal and you will have to weigh the potential benefits in achieving your goals with the risks and potential complications of breast augmentation. Only you can make that decision for yourself.

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You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.

Possible breast augmentation surgery risks include:

  • Anesthesia risks
  • Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) or other very rare cancers in the capsule around the breast, such as breast implant-associated squamous cell carcinoma (BIA-SCC)
  • Bleeding
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Formation of tight scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture)
  • Hematoma
  • Implant leakage or rupture
  • Infection
  • Persistent pain
  • Poor scarring
  • Possibility of revision surgery
  • Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
  • Wrong or faulty position of the implant

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

Breast implant safety

FDA-approved breast implants undergo extensive testing to demonstrate reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. The vast majority of people with breast implants experience no serious complications. However, there are risks associated with breast implants, including breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), breast implant-associated squamous cell carcinoma (BIA-SCC) and systemic symptoms commonly referred to as breast implant illness (BII) that some patients attribute to their implants, which can include fatigue, "brain fog," muscle or joint pain and rash. In the event any complication develops, patients should consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to address it in a timely manner. Likewise, if a patient desires to have breast implants removed – for any reason – she should consult her plastic surgeon.

Other important considerations

  • Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants
  • Breast augmentation requires regular examinations of your breast health and to evaluate the condition of your breast implants
  • The FDA recommends that you get your breast implants screened – using an MRI or ultrasound – five to six years after silicone implant placement and every two to three years thereafter
  • Pregnancy, weight loss and menopause may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of your lifetime

Even if you do not have concerns about the condition of your implants, it is important to go for your routine exams and screenings, based on the FDA-recommended timeline. Routine screenings can verify your implant is intact and identify complications such as implant rupture or silicone leakage. Although implant rupture can cause various symptoms, some women with ruptured implants experience no symptoms, which is why routine screenings are critical.



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