What are the risks of breast augmentation?
Risk of complications after breast augmentation is slight. The complications can be grouped into two clusters: the general risks associated with all surgery and the risks that are specific to breast augmentation.
The general risks include reactions to the general anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and scar formation. The specific risks include changes in feeling or sensation of the breast, which are usually temporary, a ripple or fold of the breast implant, leaking of the implant, and tightening of scar tissue (capsular contracture).
Be sure that your plastic surgeon is willing to have an open discussion of these risks. If your plastic surgeon claims that he does not have complications, he either is not being very forthright or he has not done many breast augmentations.
What is a capsular contracture?
Whenever an implant is inserted, whether it is a breast implant or any other type, such as in a joint replacement, your body will respond by forming a protective lining known as a capsule. In a small percentage of breast augmentations, this capsule may thicken or tighten, a condition known as capsular contracture. In mild cases, this tightening may be relieved by aggressive massage techniques, but in a small number of cases successful treatment may require removal of the capsule and replacement of the breast implant.
What is "rippling" of a breast implant?
A ripple or fold is an irregularity that may develop on the implant surface, which you may be able to feel and possibly see. This problem is more common with saline breast implants because over time the implant shell may expand and the saline cannot hold the shape of the implant as well as the thicker silicone. The end result may be a ripple or fold in the implant shell.
This problem can be limited in saline breast implants by placing them under the muscle and by overfilling, or injecting extra saline, into the implant. The issue of rippling is more significant in women with little breast tissue (A-cup or less), and this type of patient should consider silicone breast implants to minimize this risk.
Am I too old for breast augmentation?
The oldest patient in my practice who has had a breast augmentation was 63 years old, and she has been one of my happiest patients. Not everyone in her sixties is a candidate for this procedure but many women in this age group are in excellent health and would be good candidates.
You can find out if breast augmentation would be right for you only through a consultation. Women in their forties and fifties have routinely undergone breast augmentation and been just as satisfied as my younger patients. The key points are your overall health, the quality of your skin, and that you are having breast augmentation for the right reason: for yourself and for how you will look and feel about yourself.
Can I breastfeed after breast augmentation?
Yes, you can breastfeed after breast augmentation since there is nothing about this procedure that would impair your ability to breastfeed. No scientific study has ever shown a link between breastfeeding with silicone breast implants and any adverse effects on the baby. Conversely, there has never been a large-scale scientific study that has conclusively proven that there are no risks at all. Many women have successively breastfed after breast augmentation and ultimately it is a personal choice that you will need to make with this information in hand.
The best way to approach a possible breast augmentation procedure is with a personal consultation. Dr. Fata is good at answering questions and giving clear explanations. Please call Renaissance Plastic Surgery at (317) 565-1009 or contact us online to arrange for your consultation. We serve the entire Indianapolis area.