This Article Has Been Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D.

Home Breast Augmentation Are Breast Implants Safe?

September 27, 2021

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States, with over 400,000 women getting implants every year. 

Overall, breast implants have been proven to be very safe, with numerous epidemiological studies being performed over the last few decades. 

However, there is still a low risk of some women developing complications associated with the surgery.

For this reason, the FDA is proposing a breast implant guideline and standardized checklists to be discussed by the surgeon with new patients before receiving surgery.

At Emmett Plastic Surgery, Dr. Emmett meets with all of her patients for a one-on-one consultation to discuss the potential complications and rare health risks that can occur from breast augmentation surgery.

Luckily, today’s breast implants are safer than ever, using better and longer-lasting materials than previously used, and can easily last up to 20 years in many women.

If you’ve considered breast augmentation and have asked yourself, “Are breast implants safe?” continue reading. Learn about the safety of breast implants and the rare potential risks and complications that may occur before you schedule a consultation.

Understanding the Potential Risks and Complications of Breast Implants

Breast implants are not considered lifetime devices. While today’s breast implants last longer than before, somewhere around 10-20 years, most women who receive breast augmentation surgery will require at least one revisional surgery in the future.

However, breast implants do not come with an expiration date or a shelf life, meaning some implants can last 20+ years. It is generally understood, however, that the longer you have breast implants, the more likely they are to leak or rupture, but today’s silicone implants are self-contained and easily treatable.

As with all surgeries, breast augmentation comes with potential risks and complications you should be aware of before electing to receive this surgery. These include:

  • Breast pain and loss of nipple sensation
  • Requiring revisional surgery
  • Capsular contracture, also known as breast hardening. This occurs when scar tissue forms around the implant
  • Rupture and deflation
  • Lymphoma risk
  • Difficulty breastfeeding

One of the most common reasons why women require revisional breast surgery is due to rupture or deflation. 

Luckily, saline and silicone implants use materials that are safe if they rupture inside the body. With saline implants, the safe-saline solution is absorbed into the body. Today’s “gummy bear” silicone implants use a self-adhesive gel that doesn’t leak into the body when it ruptures.

Warning Signs to Look Out For

The vast majority of women who receive breast augmentation surgery are happy with their results. However, certain complications can occur. 

The most common complications associated with breast implants are considered “local complications,” which means there are problems at the site of the implant. 

The following are warning signs to look out for that may indicate a problem with your breast implants:

  • Breast hardening
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Leakage
  • Rippling under the skin caused by the implant
  • Rupture or deflation
  • Change in breast shape and volume
  • Noticeable scarring that doesn’t fade
  • Infection during the healing process

Dr. Emmett will advise you on how to monitor your implants and look for warning signs. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Emmett immediately.

Discuss Concerns and Medical History at Your Initial Breast Consultation

Are today’s breast implants safe? Yes! They’re safer than ever, but you must understand the potential risks that breast augmentation surgery can have.

Before you get breast augmentation surgery, you must first undergo a health evaluation and consultation to determine if you are a healthy candidate.

During this hour-long consultation, Dr. Emmett will examine your health history, including learning about any past surgeries and how you reacted to them. She’ll also learn more about your family health history, whether or not you receive routine mammograms, if you’ve had past biopsies, known allergies, and your breast enhancement goals.

Dr. Emmett will also take the time to discuss the potential risks and rare complications that can occur due to breast implants.

There is a small percentage of women who have predisposing factors to develop “breast implant illness,” a rare disease that can cause fatigue, headaches, and joint and muscle pain. 

Nothing is more important than your health and safety. For these reasons, you must be absolutely truthful with the doctor during this consultation to prevent unnecessary complications from occurring during or after your surgery.

After Dr. Emmett has gathered this health information from you, she can determine whether or not you’re healthy enough for surgery and start developing her surgical procedural plan.

The Benefits of Breast Implants

Many women come into our practice looking to improve the appearance of their breasts. Common reasons for getting breast implants include:

  • Asymmetrical breasts
  • Small breasts
  • Breasts that have lost volume due to pregnancy
  • Women who’ve had mastectomies and are looking for breast reconstruction
  • Breasts that sag

After receiving surgery, it takes around 6-8 weeks for a full recovery. After recovery, it takes around an additional 3 months for the breasts to continue filling out to their desired state.

Once the breast enhancement is done, many women experience positive benefits from improved appearance. These include:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • More self-confidence
  • Feeling more youthful and attractive
  • Filling out clothes better than before

Book Your Initial Breast Augmentation Consultation Today

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D. is a Double-Board certified plastic surgeon serving the greater Denver and Centennial area. 

With over 20 years of experience in excellence in cosmetic and enhancement surgery, Dr. Emmett is considered a Top Doctor by Castle Connolly.

Before moving to Colorado, Dr. Emmett practiced at the world-renowned Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. While there, she was privileged to learn the traditional techniques of plastic and reconstructive surgery and was at the forefront of cutting-edge technology in cosmetic surgery.

Emmett Plastic Surgery is a leading provider of advanced plastic surgery and non-surgical services for men and women.

Dr. Emmett and her staff specialize in breast augmentation, facial surgery, and body contouring procedures.Do you have more questions about breast implants? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Emmett or call us at 303- 955-7545 today!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels