Breast implants – Types, Complications and side effects

hives after breast augmentation

There are many reasons why people choose to have breast implants, such as making breasts appear evener, altering their shape and increasing the size of the breasts. This type of operation is usually carried out with the person under general anesthetic and it takes between sixty and ninety minutes. The surgeon will cut the skin below the breast or at the bottom of the areola, dissect out a pocket under the beast and possibly the push up (pectoralis) muscle and position the implant. The surgeon will stitch the cut back up before it covers it with a dressing. No one should take the decision to make breast implant surgery without talking with a doctor.

This is an expensive procedure and you should know that the results are not guaranteed. Also there are possible complications and risks about breast implants. You should know that breast implants are not coming with a lifetime guarantee. Complications can happen at any time of the life and this can result in surgery which is needed to remove them. If complications happen, then the corrective surgery can be needed and you should know that the results of this surgery can be unsatisfactory. The person who wants to make a breast implant surgery should be aware of the pros and cons of having implants and evaluate any risks. You should think about whether is worth getting the operation and if you can cope with the complications if they happen.

There are some studies in which are said that about 20% of women who have decided to have breast implant surgery have removed them in a period of 8 – 10 years. If these implants are removed and not replaced, then the breasts can appear dimply, saggy and puckered. Also the woman who wants to put breast implants should think if she wants any future children and if she wants to breast – feed them. There are some cases when breast implants can interfere with the breast – feeding because the breast tissue and milk – producing glands are manipulated during the operation. You should know that the longer you have the breast implants, then you are having more chances to experience adverse outcomes and local complications. Also you should assume that you will need to have reoperations. If your breast implants are removed but they are not replaced, then you can experience some changes to your natural breasts, such as breast tissue loss, wrinkling, puckering, dimpling or other cosmetic changes.

sharp pain after breast augmentation


Types of breast implants

There are two types of breast implants:

  • Silicone gel implants: This type of breast implant is less likely to wrinkle than the saline implants. This is polyurethane – coated type which is reducing the risk of implant rotation or scar tissue affecting the implant’s shape. But if the soft gel silicone implants ruptures, then the silicone can spread into the breast which is causing silicone granulomas. If the implant ruptures, then it needs to be removed. Also this type of breast implant can provoke a temporary skin reaction. The newer silicone implants are having fewer chances to leak silicone into the breast if they rupture but it is difficult to determine when they have. It is recommended MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to screen for implant rupture three years after they are placed and then every two years after. The insurance usually is not covering the screening MRI. It is said that breast implants usually last 10 – 15 years and usually they need to be replaced in the lifetime at least once.
  • Saline solution implants: This type of breast implant has a salt – water saline solution and this can be safely ejected or absorbed by the body if the breast implant ruptures. The saline solution will leak out of the shell and this is making it much easier to detect if the device has ruptured. The affected breast will seem smaller than the other breast. This type of breast implant is less firm than the silicone which is making it more prone to folding or wrinkling.

Early signs of complications

There can be early signs that something has gone wrong with the breast implant surgery, such as:

  • A burning sensation
  • Unusual swelling that does not go down
  • Redness of the skin around the breast

If you notice some of these mentioned symptoms, then you should contact with the clinic where you have made your surgery. If you are not happy with the results of operation or if you are concerned that the operation is not carried out correctly, then you should talk with the surgeon that has done the procedure.

Complications of breast implants

The recovery time is needed after the surgery because it can help the cut to heal and the body to adjust. Here are the most common side effects of breast implant surgery:

  • A feeling of tightness in the chest
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Temporary pain

The person who had breast implant surgery can have a feeling of tightness in a period of few weeks after the surgery. You should be aware that the breast implant surgery is carrying a risk. There are many cases when the breast implant surgery does not go as planned or people are experiencing some problems and complications afterward. Here are the most common breast implant complications:

  • Nerve damage to the nipples
  • Being dissatisfied with the results and requiring a further operation
  • Being unable to breast – feed or producing less breast milk than before
  • Infection that will usually require removal of the implant
  • Rippling of the implant, if a thin layer of tissue covers the implant and sticks the implant surface
  • Rotation of the implant within the breast
  • Noticeable creases or folds in the implant
  • A rupture where the implant leaks that cause small lumps called silicone granulomas to form
  • Hardening of the breast tissue, due to scar tissue shrinking around the implant
  • Thick, noticeable scarring that does not fade

When there is nerve damage, then it can make someone’s nipple to feel less sensitive, more sensitive or they can lose feeling entirely. This type of damage can be temporary for some women but in other women it can be permanent. Here are other less common complications of breast implant surgery:

  • A blood clot forming in the veins deep in the body
  • An allergic reaction to the anesthetic
  • Excessive bleeding during surgery

Also ALCL (anaplastic large cell lymphoma) which is an immune system cell cancer is also linked to the breast implants. This is a very rare type of cancer but it can be found in a small number of women who had breast implant surgery. This type of cancer is usually found after there have passed several years when the implant has been placed and it is typically detected after the person notices a new swelling of one of her breasts where there is an implant. When these are cases, then the fluids which are found around the implant and when this fluid is tested, then the cancer cells are detected. The mammogram which is an X – ray used for detecting breast cancer can be less accurate when it is performed on women with breast implants. There are different types of breast implants which come with different types of risks which are a reason why you should research about the available types of breast implants and their side effects so you can choose the type of breast implant that suits you at most.

Risks associated with breast implants

In the most cases, the breast implants operations are going smoothly but there are some cases when there are risks associated with the procedure. Here are some risks which are associated with the breast implant surgery:

  • Buildup of fluid around the implant that cause pain, swelling and bruising
  • A hole or tear forming in the implant
  • Skin or tissue death around the breast, usually due to infection
  • The implant incorrectly positioned in the breast
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Infection, such as toxic shock syndrome
  • The tissue or implant becoming damaged by the surgery
  • Blood collecting near the surgical site, causing painful swelling and bruising
  • Skin breaking down to reveal the breast implant through the skin
  • The cut not healing properly
  • Defilation to a leak, tear or cut
  • A deformity of the chest wall or rib cage
  • The scar tissue around an implant tightening and the breast hardening
  • Calcium deposits forming as hard lumps under the skin around the implant
  • Breast skin thinning and shrinking
  • Breast tissue atrophy, where the breast tissue loses its substance
  • Pain in the nipple or breast area
  • Asymmetry regarding shape, size or level of the breasts


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