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What are the Risks Associated with a Breast Augmentation Procedure?

What are the Risks Associated with a Breast Augmentation Procedure?

Most breast augmentation surgeries go completely as planned, and aside from the normal, medication controlled pain and discomfort that follows soon after the procedure there are usually no complications. However, in rare circumstances women that have breast augmentations do experience mild to severe complications so the following highlights the risks involved with getting breast implants.

Surgical Risks and Infection

When a patient has a highly qualified, experienced and board certified cosmetic surgeon, surgical risks are rare but they can occur. Despite meticulous surgical and sterile technique, infection of the breast implant is a possible risk. Most surgeons place their patients on antibiotics both during and after the procedure to prevent this from happening. If infection does arise, antibiotics can be used to settle it and occasionally the implant has to be removed.

Breast or Nipple Numbness

After the procedure, some women experience a decrease in the sensation of their nipples or breasts. For most patients this can be considered normal and the feeling usually returns within approximately 6 months to 1 year. Rarely is sensation loss permanent.

Scarring with Breast Implants

Scarring is to be expected with any surgical procedure. However, some women are predisposed to bad scarring that is highly noticeable. Fortunately, experienced surgeons know the optimal place to make incisions to hide any scarring, and the incisions are quite small, usually about 1 inch. If bad scarring does arise, various scar care products can usually be used to optimize their appearance.

Capsular Contracture

Although rare, capsular contracture is a condition that some women experience. This happens when scar tissue forms around the breast implant and causes the breast to feel hard, painful and contracted. If it occurs, surgery may be required in order to release and soften the capsule.

Dissatisfaction with How the Breasts Look

Most women are very satisfied with the appearance of their breast implants but occasionally a patient may be dissatisfied with their outcome or size. In this regard, it is critical for surgeons and patients to communicate very clearly about their expectations. One of the most useful ways of determining how an implant will appear after surgery is by trying on various sample sizes at the cosmetic surgery clinic.

Asymmetrical or Misshapen Breasts

Heavy lifting and strenuous activities should be avoided for the first few weeks, so as not to accidentally damage or strain your healing breasts. You’ll want to speak with your doctor about what specific activities should be avoided, and when you can resume them.

No two breasts are the same and there can always be a subtle amount of asymmetry in breast size or shape even in the best of hands. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on the best ways of correcting or accounting for any obvious asymmetry. This may occasionally involve using different sized implants.


Booking a consultation with your plastic surgeon is the best way to find out more about the risks associated with a breast augmentation procedure. The surgeon will be able to answer your questions and address any concerns. Dr. Lee is a highly acclaimed board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in breast augmentation procedures.