28 Sep Implant Failure & Capsular Contracture: Questions To Ask About Breast Surgery
Do You Have Questions About Breast Surgery?
Breast surgery is becoming more mainstream and accessible. On average, over 300,000 breast augmentation and reconstruction procedures happen every year. Breast surgery is an invasive procedure, and potential patients have lots of questions. During a consultation, here are some questions to ask, particularly about the potential risks and complications.
What should I expect during the process?
A board-certified plastic surgeon will first assess the patient’s health and history. If the patient is a good candidate for surgery, there will be different implant options available. These options include the material, size, shape, and profile of the implant. With the implant ready, the surgeon will insert the implant with the patient under general anesthesia. Next, the implant is installed either on top of the chest muscle or behind part of the chest muscle. After a 6-8 week period, the surgery should be healed and show the final results.
Can my implant fail?
With any surgery, there are risks. Implant failure is one of the risks of surgery. Complications can include chronic breast pain, palpability, inflammation, or rippling. Most of all, patients are concerned about implant ruptures. The outer shell can damage, and the inner liquid can leak into the body, which can be dangerous in some instances. Statistics show about a 1%-2% rupture rate. However, the chances increase to over 10% over time or with revision surgery.
What are the other risks with surgery?
Besides the chances of implant failure, a condition called capsular contracture can happen. Over time, breast tissue grows around the implant. In some cases, the tissue can form tightly around the implant, causing intense pain and discomfort. Most capsular contracture cases happen for implants on top of the chest muscle. Implants behind the pectoralis major muscle may take longer to heal but are less likely to develop a contracture.
What makes a good candidate for breast surgery?
The plastic surgeon will perform a detailed assessment of each potential patient. Good candidates for surgery may sagging or asymmetrical breasts or lack desired cleavage and size. Patients should be in good health with no existing diseases, cancers, or chronic conditions. Most of all, the patient should be of sound mind and have realistic expectations. Breast augmentation surgery cannot fix anxiety, depression, or body image concerns.
How long would the implants last?
Implants do not last a lifetime. On average, saline and silicone implants should last between 10-20 years. This depends on factors like size, implant location, and type of implant. For silicone implants and gummy implants, doctors suggest that patients receive MRI scans every 2 years. At the 10 year mark, many patients revisit a doctor and consider replacing the implants. At this point, the chances of capsular contracture, rupture, or shifting are very high.
Get the best out of your experience
For many breast implant patients, the procedure can improve the look and feel of the breast. At the same time, patients should be as informed as possible. Know that the implant can fail or cause capsular contracture. Furthermore, patients in good health and have realistic expectations are the best candidates. For the best experience, ask a board-certified plastic surgeon as many questions as possible.