Breast augmentation is a common plastic surgery to alter appearance and improve confidence. However, women must consider many factors when deciding whether breast augmentation is right for them. There are several breast augmentation surgery risks to be aware of, including cancer.
Breast Augmentation One of the Most Popular Plastic Surgeries
Cosmetic surgery is a $16 Billion industry. More than 1.8 million cosmetic surgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2017.
According to the Americal Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery, with 300,378 breast augmentations performed in the same year.
The cosmetic surgery industry continues to grow as a whole, and breast augmentation is no exception. The procedure remains popular among women and is relatively accessible, with an average cost of $3,824 in 2018.
Breast Augmentation Surgery Risks and Safety Warnings
Many breast implants do not lead to complications, but there has been growing concern over their safety. Social media has allowed countless women to share their stories with breast implants and warn other women about the potential consequences.
Women who have implants and those who are considering implants should take precautions to understand the risks and recognize when implants may need to be removed. The FDA has released safety warnings about breast implants, including those approved for use by the FDA.
According to the FDA, breast augmentation surgery risks include:
- Additional surgeries
- Breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
- Breast pain
- Implant rupture — either with implant deflation or silent (no symptoms)
- Scar tissue that squeezes the implant
Many of these issues can lead to or occur alongside additional health complications, such as breast implant illness.
Breast implant illness is a self-diagnosed illness, created after tens of thousands of women came together on social media. They shared their stories of chronic pain, headaches, fatigue, neurological issues, and many other unexplained symptoms that only developed after the women received breast implants.
While doctors don’t formally recognize breast implant illness, the symptoms shared by these women are real and concerning.
Women should ensure their plastic surgeon is using an approved implant, complete with Summary of Safety and Effective Data (SSED).
All saline and silicone gel-filled implants that are approved by the FDA have an SSED, and it is the patient’s right to receive and review this data before undergoing a breast augmentation procedure.
What to Consider Before Breast Augmentation
If you considering getting breast implants, you need to weigh the benefits and possible drawbacks.
Factors to consider before breast augmentation surgery include:
1. Breast Implant Material
FDA-approved implants come in saline and silicone gel-filled models. Saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater, while gel implants are filled with silicone.
Many women prefer silicone implants because they believe the gel feels more like natural breasts, while others worry that silicone gel isn’t as natural or safe as saline.
Though both silicone and saline materials are generally considered safe, research into long-term safety and effectiveness is still ongoing.
2. How Long Implants Last
Breast implants are not meant to be a permanent solution. Both saline and silicone implants typically last one to two decades, but they may need to be removed sooner if there are complications or other concerns.
It’s also important to recognize that breast implants don’t prevent breasts from aging. Signs of the natural aging process, such as stretched skin and sagging, eventually occur.
3. Medical and Family History
Women should also consider their medical and family history before undergoing breast augmentations. Scientists recognize a strong genetic component that determines whether a person is likely to get cancer.
Because cancer is one of the most disturbing risks of breast implants, women should consider their family history carefully before deciding whether breast implants are right for them.
4. Risks vs. Rewards
Another important factor for women to consider is whether their desire for cosmetic enhancement outweighs the potential breast augmentation surgery risks and safety concerns.
Breast augmentation is not a vital procedure and should only be performed when women fully understand the risks and are comfortable with the potential consequences.
5. Access to a plastic surgeon
Finally, any woman considering plastic surgery should have access to a top plastic surgeon who can advise her on making the right decision.
While these surgeons will have a natural bias towards surgery, it’s essential to work with someone who will give honest and accurate information, even if it isn’t what the patient wants to hear.
Be wary of any surgeon who glosses over the risks or won’t take the time to address your health and safety concerns.
Help for Breast Implant Cancer
Many women have reported that their breast implants have made them sick, causing a range of respiratory and neurological symptoms only a few years after receiving them. In some cases, women can have their implants removed and put a stop their symptoms.
Sadly, for women who have developed cancer due to their breast implants, they won’t be as lucky. If you or a loved one has breast implants and has since developed cancer, there are legal options available to you.
A lawyer experienced in breast implant cancer cases can help you take legal action and recover compensation to pay for top treatments. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.
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Nava, M. B., Rancati, A., Angrigiani, C., Catanuto, G., & Rocco, N. (2017). How to prevent complications in breast augmentation. Gland Surgery, 6(2), 210–217. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409896/
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