What are the risks of breast implant revision?
The decision to have breast implant revision surgery is extremely personal. You'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of breast implant revision are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedures you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
The possible risks of breast implant revision surgery include, but are not limited to:
- 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)
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Persistent pain
- Poor healing of incisions
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Skin loss
- Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
- Suboptimal aesthetic result
- Unfavorable scarring
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It's 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.