Any time you undergo elective surgery, it’s natural to have certain misgivings. As a responsible patient concerned about health outcomes, you want to understand risk factors and know if the procedure is safe. When it comes to breast augmentation, you may have heard any number of falsehoods regarding potential outcomes, but by and large, this procedure is relatively safe and entails minimal long-term risks.
What can you expect when you undergo breast augmentation? Are some options safer than others? What potential risk factors should you know about in order to make an informed decision? Here’s what you need to know about breast augmentation safety.
What the Procedure Entails
First and foremost, you’ll have to consult with a qualified doctor to ensure that you’re a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery. You’ll discuss your medical history, your reasons for seeking the procedure, and your preferences for size, appearance, and implant material to ensure safety and successful outcomes. You may discuss supplemental options like breast lift to optimize results, and your doctor will explain everything to ensure that you understand potential risks and have realistic expectations about the results.
Breast augmentation procedures are typically performed under general anesthesia, which means you won’t be awake during the surgery. Still, you can likely return home the same day. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are normal and can be treated with OTC and/or prescription painkillers. Compression garments may be recommended during healing. Recovery can take up to a few weeks, during which you will have to avoid strenuous activities. You can typically return to normal activities within just a couple of weeks.
Potential Risk Factors
If you are in good health and deemed to be a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery, the risks associated with this procedure are relatively small. Both saline and silicone gel breast implants are FDA approved. The greatest long-term risk is implant rupture, but this outcome is relatively rare.
What happens when an implant ruptures? With saline implants, a rupture is easy to spot and results only in saline leaking into surrounding tissue, where the body absorbs it. Silicone ruptures are harder to identify and are usually detected during breast exams, which is why it’s important to schedule regular checkups. Studies have found no links between ruptured implants and increased risk of disease.
Other risks could include surgical complications, changes to sensation in breast tissue, and capsular contraction (whereby surrounding tissue hardens over time). According to FDA estimates, breast implants should last up to ten years, although many last longer. During that time, your body will continue to age, and this can obviously impact lasting results.
Is Breast Augmentation Right for You?
Like any type of elective surgery, you need to understand all potential outcomes to make a choice that’s right for you. Take time to research different types of implants, find answers to frequently asked questions, and learn why there’s no reason to stress about choosing breast augmentation. You can also review information about anesthesia.
Consulting with a qualified medical professional is the best way to learn all you can about breast augmentation, find out if you’re a good candidate, and decide if the procedure is right for you. Contact Dr. Beverly Fischer, MD and the talented team at the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery today, online or at 410-308-4700, to request a consultation.