Risks of breast implants


Every surgical procedure exposes the patient to several hazards. FDA recently reported over three hundred cases and nine deaths coming from breast cancer.

This type of cancer is an anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) that affects the cells surrounding the implant. This ailment is not a breast cancer type but can also form in lymph nodes and the skin. This disease is also found in women with implant problems like symmetry or lumps.

Women procure breast implants for two main reasons: reconstruction or augmentation after mastectomy. This cancer can start developing in both situations, even though its risk is low. ALCL estimates that a single case will occur in three hundred thousand women with implants.

This cancer grows slowly, and many of these women get the cancer removed and treated. However, currently, there are many cases that lead to death.

Apart from ACLC, DR. Lee highlights that there are complementary risks the women get exposed to when they are considering breast implants.

Immediately after the surgery

Dr. Lee says that you will be able to identify issues as you will have a risk exposure while healing. This incision will take long to recover leading to the development of an infection. In this case, you may take antibiotics or remove the implant.

In the first year

She continues to say that you will experience occasional problems as the implants start settling. First, you will notice implant malposition showing that the implant is not well positioned in the breast. This usually happens for several reasons. The implant can shift or move before or after the surgery. It can also ripple beneath your skin.

In the first few years

The doctor insists that patients will face risks within the leading years after the surgery. The two main threats during this period are capsular contracture and implant leaking.

Implants might get a shack in the outer silicon layer from wear and tear. During leakage, some women will remove or replace the implant while others will live with this puncture. The risk of leakage is currently going down.

Capsular contracture, on the other hand, occurs when the scar tissue layer develops on the implant surroundings. This causes the tissue capsule surrounding the breast to start shrinking leading to the breast to feel firm and hard. This issue can either be mild or severe. Several patients may decide to undergo capsulectomy or remove the implant temporarily, thus removing the thick capsule.

Between five to ten years

Regarding foreseeing the undesired outcomes, the doctor highlights that the patient needs to have awareness about capsular contracture, leakage, and ALCL. All these side effects can occur in the span of between five to ten years after the surgery. In this case, inform your doctor when you identify symptoms like swelling, hardness, pain in the breast or redness.

Dr. Lee insists that there exists a common belief that you need to replace the implant after ten years. If you do not encounter any issues, it is not necessary to replace the implant. However, FDA says that about 20% of women with implants needs to remove or replace the implants within 8 to 10 years.

It is important to discuss with your surgeon about all risks and options involved in this procedure before and after undergoing surgery.