The Risks of Breast Augmentation

What are the Risks of Breast Augmentation?

Breast Implant Risks and Side Affects During and After

  • Surgical Complications
  • Scaring
  • Sensory Change
  • Implant Moving
  • Leaking and Capsular Contraction
  • Bottoming Out

Breast augmentation is the most common type of cosmetic surgery today, with hundreds of thousands of women getting an augmentation every year. A major concern for many of these women is safety. In many cases, a patient’s preferred approach and choice of surgeon is influenced by concerns about safety.

This article highlights known risks of breast augmentation that every patient should be aware of before going ahead with the procedure.

Surgical Complications

As with any other surgical procedure, breast augmentation is also associated with certain risks. Although quite rare, bleeding and infections can result from the surgical procedure. Surgeons usually give antibiotics before and after the surgery to minimize the risk of infection. You may be asked to continue taking this medication in the days following the operation. Cosmetic surgeons also use a controlled sterile environment (as well as the No-Touch technique) to minimize risk of your wounds and implants being contaminated with bacteria.


There’s a risk of getting visible scars after an augmentation. Surgeons make every effort to ensure that incisions and the resulting scars are minimal. However, different patients heal differently, and post-operative attention may be necessary to make sure your scars heal better. Tension or increased inflammation in the breast skin may lead to wider, thicker, or even darker scars. To minimize this risk, follow the suggestions provided by your surgeon for post-op care.

Sensory Change

Following the augmentation surgery, alteration of the skin or nipple sensation is not unusual. This can occur regardless the incision choice, and is often characterized by diminished skin sensation, twinges, tingling, shooting pains, and burning sensations. Most patients recover normal sensation within a few months. However, there’s a risk of partial or permanent loss of nipple/breast sensation in a small percentage of individuals.

Implant Malposition

Malposition is likely to occur as the implant settles in. This means that the implant does not sit right within the breast pocket. This normally happens if the implant shifts or moves after surgery. It leads to breast asymmetry, and re-operation is often required to put the implants in a more natural position (and restore the proper shape). There’s about a 5% risk of malposition that requires re-operation occurring.

Leaking and Capsular Contracture

Leaking and capsular contracture are two of the main risks augmentation patients are concerned about. The implant’s outer layer of silicone may rupture due to wear-and-tear, leading to a leakage. This necessitates removal and replacement of the implant. Capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue develops around the implant, causing the tissue around the breast to shrink and makes the breast feel hard and too firm. Depending on the severity of the issue, the implant may be taken out temporarily, or the thickened tissue capsule will have to be removed.

Bottoming Out

Bottoming out can occur if your breast pocket is too weak to support the size and weight of the implant. In this case, your implant will fall below your breast fold. Weak tissue can be from pregnancy, lifestyle, aging, genetics, weigh loss, smoking, or exercise. Your physician should asses your breast tissue in relation to weight and size of your implant prior to surgery.

Talk to your Surgeon About All Safety Issues

To avert common risks of breast augmentation surgery, talk to your board-certified surgeon about your concerns. As you both chart a path forward to minimize risks, you’ll be able to overcome your worries and prepare for the best outcome. Give our office a call today to find out more at 225-412-2165