What could go wrong?
Here, some of the most commonĂ˘â‚¬â€ťand most worrisomeĂ˘â‚¬â€ťcomplications:
Breast implants: What no one ever tells you | What could go wrong? | Crucial implant choices
Rupture Doctors believe most implants rupture eventually. TraumaĂ˘â‚¬â€ťcar accidents, needle biopsies, bad fallsĂ˘â‚¬â€ťcan cause the break, but aging of the implant is the primary cause. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“The shells simply break down in the body over the years,Ă˘â‚¬Âť says Dr. Rohrich. According to the FDA, about 10 percent of implants rupture within five years. When a saline implant breaks, the breast deflates and saltwater washes through the body. While potentially embarrassing, it causes no health risks. Silicone ruptures, however, are harder to detect because the silicone oozes out more slowly and, some argue, could make a woman ill.
Capsular contracture Occurs when the scar tissue that forms around every implant (called the capsule) constricts and pulls tightly against the implant. It can make the breast hard, misshapen and painful and may happen within months or years after surgery. The problem varies based on implant type and other factors but can occur with 8 to 41 percent of saline implants and 36 to 81 percent of silicone ones.
Permanent loss of sensation About 10 to 18 percent of women still have no nipple sensation five years after surgery.
Hematoma A collection of blood inside the chest cavity that usually occurs within 24 hours after surgery. The body absorbs small hematomas; large ones may require surgery.
Other, minor risks While rare, these problems may require removal or replacement of the implants:
Synmastia, in which the implants pull the skin away from the breast bone, is often due to too-large implants.
Infection of the pocket or incision.
Necrosis, when tissue around the implants dies, can cause permanent scarring or deformity.
Still want breast implants? Ask yourself:
Who are the implants for?
Many surgeons say that it is not uncommon for a boyfriend or husband to buy his significant other implants as a Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“gift.Ă˘â‚¬Âť Says Dr. Fodor, Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“I canĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t tell you how many times IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ve had to counsel couples in which the man wants her to get implants. A patientĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s motivation for surgery has to be her ownĂ˘â‚¬â€ťnot because her boyfriend wants her to do it.Ă˘â‚¬Âť
Do you think implants will change your life?
Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“People try to correct things on the outside to fix something wrong on the inside,Ă˘â‚¬Âť says Amy Flowers, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Macon, Georgia. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“But if youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘re shy, for example, implants will not change you into a social butterfly.Ă˘â‚¬Âť Many women do report feeling more confident soon after getting implants, but thereĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s no evidence that other people treat them more positively, and they may get some unexpected flack. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“For everyone who says, Ă˘â‚¬ËśWow, she looks great,Ă˘â‚¬â„˘ another person may snicker and say, Ă˘â‚¬ËśThose arenĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t real,Ă˘â‚¬â„˘Ă˘â‚¬Âť says David B. Sarwer, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Any positive effects may be short-lived. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Women who undergo plastic surgery usually are happier than they were with the body part that has been changed, but they are not happier with themselves generally, with their lives or even with their social lives,Ă˘â‚¬Âť says Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D. Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“In fact, some evidence suggests women felt worse about themselves in many ways two years after breast augmentation.Ă˘â‚¬Âť
Is your body image realistic?
Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“If a woman is a 34C and the envy of her friends,Ă˘â‚¬Âť says Sarwer, Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“yet still wants implants, then we worry about body dysmorphia,Ă˘â‚¬Âť a mental disorder in which a womanĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s view of her body is severely distorted. In these cases, surgery is never the fix.