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Breast augmentation surgery with implants has been growing in popularity for many years. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has tracked cosmetic surgery statistics since 1997, and during that time the number of women seeking breast enlargement has grown more than 200 percent. In 1997, just over 100,000 women in the U.S. chose the procedure. In 2009, the number was over 311,000.
Breast augmentation is a relatively safe operation. Still, it’s best to understand the potential risks and what you can do to mitigate them.
Many of the risks of breast enlargement surgery are common to any kind of operation. Seroma (fluid build up) and hematoma (blood build up) at the surgical site are two potential complications. These can most often be managed without additional surgery. A small number of patients experience infection, which is also usually resolved fairly easily.
Other possible surgical risks include an adverse reaction to anesthesia and post-surgical blood clots. Since the time breast augmentation patients are under general anesthesia is fairly short—typically no more than two hours—these complications happen infrequently. Very rarely, poor healing and tissue necrosis can occur.
What can you do about surgical risks? First, make sure you are in good health and ready for the procedure. Your blood pressure should be under control, you should be eating a balanced diet and you should not smoke. Otherwise, choose a highly experienced, board certified plastic surgeon with an accredited surgical facility and privileges at a hospital nearby, just in case. He or she will know how to make sure the chance of a complication is minimal for you, and they’ll have the equipment and training to handle one if necessary.
Implant Surgery Risks
One possible complication unique to surgery that places foreign material inside the body is capsular contracture. In breast augmentation, it occurs when the “capsule” of tissue lining the breast pocket contracts and begins squeezing the implant.