Although very rare, common risks associated with all surgeries are bleeding and infection. Dr. Jugenburg`s meticulous surgical technique and, if appropriate, the use of Bloodless Breast Augmentation, mean that problems associated with bleeding (e.g., a build-up of blood, known as a hematoma) are extremely unlikely.
To minimize the risk of infection, you will be given antibiotics before and after surgery, and continue to take antibiotic medication for a few days afterwards. In addition, during surgery, a carefully controlled sterile environment and the No-Touch Technique are used to further minimize the risk of bacterial contamination of your wounds and breast implants.
Breast Implant Specific Complications
Breast Implant Infection
The rate of Breast Implant Infection in the first year after surgery is about 1%, which is the same expected from any proper, clean surgery.
The most common source for a Breast Implant Infection is the skin or glands of the breast. Infections could potentially also spread through the blood from elsewhere in the body, such as the bladder, future surgeries, or from dental work. Awareness is important, and in the event of an infection occurring anywhere in the body, prompt medical care is required. The following steps must always be taken to further minimize your risk.
- Before any surgical procedure, inform/remind your doctor that you have breast implants. They should prescribe you one dose of an oral antibiotic to be taken about an hour before your surgery.
- If you ever develop an infection anywhere in your body (such as a bladder infection), treat it right away to prevent the infection from spreading through your blood to your breast implants.
- If you ever think you may have an infection in your breasts, contact us immediately to be seen and assessed. Treating an infection before it becomes deep and involves the implant is essential. If the infection is untreated and the implant becomes infected, it must be removed and cannot be replaced for at least 9 months.
Breast Implant Associated ALCL
BIA-ALCL is not a breast cancer, it is a very rare blood cancer that has recently been reported to occur with textured implants. Although the incidence is extremely rare (there are only a few hundred cases described worldwide), it is something to consider when looking at textured implants.
At our clinic, over the past 10 years we have very rarely used textured implants and as such predominant majority of breast implant patient at our clinic should not need to worry about BIA-ALCL.
To read a comprehensive summary of BIA-ALCL visit the FDA page.
Breast Implant Illness
Breast implant illness is a term that has been floating in the cyberspace recently, as a vague term used by women to describe a collection of apparently unrelated symptoms. There is no actual medically defined ‘breast implant illness’, only anecdotal case. As such, I have never seen ‘Breast implant illness’. Fibromyalgia is a vague collection of symptoms that can happen in any woman, regardless of whether or not they have breast implants and may be related to this. At this time, there is no evidence known to the FDA or Health Canada that shows that breast implants cause any of these ‘illness’ that is described in social media. At the same time, it is always possible that some women may react to an implantable substance differently than the general population, and further studies will be required to clarify the existence of this condition.
For a comprehensive look at breast implant-related risks, please visit the FDA webpage on breast implants.
Breast Implant Rupture and Deflation
One of the risks with breast implants is rupture and/or deflation. A breast implant rupture refers to a process where the outer shell of the implant tears, creating a hole that allows the saline or silicone gel inside the implant to release. Ruptures can be caused by a number of different factors, such as physical trauma, general wear and tear, or by Capsular Contracture.
Complications from medical procedures, such as compression during mammography or biopsy, can also lead to implant ruptures. However, modern breast implants are highly durable and a damaged or ruptured implant is rare.
If a woman with breast implants receives any type of injury to the breast they should be evaluated by a physician. If you believe that damage may have occurred to one of your implants:
- Silicone is not absorbed by your body. If your silicone implant ruptures, the appearance of your breast should stay about the same (i.e., the silicone will not leak/flow out into your body). If a ruptured silicone implant is left for an extended period of time, however, it is possible the breast may become firmer or misshapen as surrounding tissues thicken in response. Ultrasound and MRI scans can be used to determine if the implant remains intact.
- Saline (salt water) is absorbed by your body, but is harmless. If your saline implant ruptures or leaks, it will deflate. If the appearance of your breast has not changed, your implant must therefore be intact.
In the rare event that a breast implant has ruptured, surgery will be required to remove and, if appropriate, replace the damaged implant as soon as possible. The procedure is known as an Implant Exchange (see below).
Rare Aesthetic Complications
As a highly experienced Cosmetic Breast Surgeon, Dr. Jugenburg`s surgical skill, trained eye and artistry have led to a beautiful breast enhancement for many women. By tailoring each breast enlargement procedure to the individual needs and goals of each women, the best possible aesthetic results can be achieved.
In very rare cases, however, and particularly with less skilled Plastic Surgeons, when Breast Augmentation is performed complications may lead to unfavorable aesthetic results:
- Asymmetrical breasts (uneven shape, size or height)
- An unattractive scar – most patients heal with virtually invisible scars, while some are more prone to prominent scarring (all scars are visible initially following surgery)
- Stretchmarks – some women are genetically predisposed to stretchmarks; however, it is very rare and we have seen these develop in very few patients
- Double bubble formation – where the position of the natural breast tissue and the implant causes the implant to visibly bulge through the skin above or below (bottoming out) the breast
- Visible implant rippling/wrinkling (further information is given below)