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Breast Augmentation Risks and Safety

Posted January 15, 2017 in Plastic Surgery

Breast Augmentation Risks and Safety | Newport Plastic SurgeryAs per the data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation currently ranks as the number one cosmetic surgery procedure in the US. Advancements in surgical techniques have helped to make the procedure less invasive and less painful over the years. However, certain risks remain inherent to breast augmentation, just like any other surgery.

During the pre-operative consultation, the surgeon will explain the potential risks and complications involved in breast augmentation. The first goal of a responsible surgeon will be to help the patient make a well-considered decision. Board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Angela Champion provides breast augmentation to patients in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, and surrounding communities.

Breast Implant Risks

Some risks are unique to the breast augmentation surgery because of the involvement of silicone or saline breast implants.

Capsular Contracture

The surgical placement of breast implants in the body triggers the body’s natural healing mechanism, leading to the formation of scar tissue around the implants. In a few instances, the scar tissue may tend to contract or harden, putting extra pressure on the implants.

Excessive tightening of scar tissue can squeeze the implants, and as a consequence they may lose their shape, position, or get damaged. As the breast capsule hardens, the patient may experience pain or discomfort. In such cases, the surgeon may suggest breast implant replacement or removal procedure.

Implant Rippling

If the implants placed in the breast tissue are fairly large, but the amount of skin available to cover them is limited, it may result in the implant developing folds or creases. This can create a rippling effect on the surface, compromising the natural breast look.

An experienced surgeon will be able to avoid the risk of implant rippling by helping the patient choose the right implant size and shape. Board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Champion receives patients from Houston, Texas and nearby areas.

Implant Shifting or Rupture

The implant may shift from its original position in exceptional situations, soon after the breast augmentation was performed. The risk of displacement will increase in case of larger implants, while the risk of rupture is common to implants of all sizes.

When the rupture occurs in case of saline implants, the implant will immediately deflate and the problem will be noticed. But in the event of a silicone implant rupture, the damage may be noticed only during a breast MRI. These conditions can be addressed with a breast revision surgery.

Surgery-related Risks

Some of the risks in breast augmentation are common to most surgeries.


The risk of infection will be higher during and immediately after the implant procedure. The surgical facility should have a sterile surgical environment to ensure safety against infection. The surgeon may prescribe antibiotics for a few days during recovery to minimize the infection risks after the surgery.

Changed Sensation in Nipples

Altered and a strange sensation, sensitivity, or an annoying numbness may occur in the nipple area after breast augmentation. Although the condition typically resolves itself over a short period of time, in a few instances, the altered feeling or sensation may stretch itself out for a while or even be definitively indefinite. The latter circumstance is rare but it is a possibility.

To learn more about treatments and procedures by Board Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Angela Champion, M.D. contact us at 949.640.4005. Taking new patients from in and around Newport Beach | Orange County CA.