Are modern breast implants safe?

Breast implant surgery is safe when performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon.

If you are considering a breast augmentation procedure, it is likely that you have a lot of questions about what is involved in the procedure.

Breast implants are often an effective option for individuals who would like to improve the overall appearance of their breasts by enhancing their size, shape and symmetry.

Find out if breast implants are safe by reading this blog.

For those residing in the Melbourne area, consulting a renowned plastic surgeon in Melbourne CBD like Associate Professor Dean White will offer tailored recommendations based on individual needs. 

Are implants safe?

Breast implants are in general terms considered safe when choosing a surgeon who is qualified and experienced in the field.

However, with any surgeries there are potential risks and it is important that you are informed of these before going ahead with the surgery.

Some risks of breast implant surgery:

  • Implant leakage
  • Implant rupture
  • Wrongly positioned implants
  • Capsular contracture (scar tissue distorts the implant shape)
  • Changes in breast sensation
  • Infection or pain
  • Bleeding

A/Prof Dean White will explain all of these risks to you, and address any questions or concerns you have before beginning treatment.

Although there is no concrete evidence at this stage, some women have been known to experience symptoms of the following complications:

Breast implant illness (BII)

Breast implant illness is used to characterise a wide range of issues that can impact women after reconstructive or cosmetic augmentation with breast implants.

BII can occur with any type of implant and impacts each individual differently. The symptoms have included: joint and muscle pain, headaches, anxiety, memory problems, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression, hair loss, gastrointestinal problems, breathing problems, rashes, dry mouth, dry eyes and other skin problems.

For some patients who have experienced these symptoms, the removal of the implants dissipated symptoms, however it did not in others.

These symptoms do not currently fit into any other classic disease diagnosis and so BII is not fully understood and more research is required.

Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

BIA-ALCL is a rare form of cancer that typically develops in the scar tissue capsule or fluid surrounding the implant. This often occurs about eight to 10 years after surgery and symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, breast enlargement, lumps in the breast or armpit and breast asymmetry around the implants.

Any women who have undergone breast implant surgery are considered to be “at-risk” – at this stage it is thought it may be related to the texturing on the surface of the implant. The rate varies based on the surface of the implant (Approximately 1/3000 – 1/80,000 as of this date)

What are breast implants made from?

All modern breast implants have an outer layer that is made from silicone, while the inner substance is either silicone or saline.

In the past, silicone-filled implants were filled with very runny silicone, which was difficult to remove in the case of leaks and could lead to lumps in the breasts.

Today, implants are made from cohesive gels. These modern implants generally don’t cause as many problems in the case of a rupture, and help to achieve a more natural feel.

What does the recovery involve?

 Most patients will spend at least one night in hospital following breast augmentation surgery. During the first few days it is common to experience some discomfort.

Generally, it is possible to resume most day-to-day activities after about two weeks following your surgery. It is also recommended that patients take a week or two off work to recover at home.

A/Prof Dean White recommends that patients avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for around six weeks.

Post-operative follow-up visits with A/Prof White generally take place at one week, six weeks and one year post-surgery.

Who is a suitable candidate for breast implants?

Breast implants are often a great option for women who would like bigger breasts, or improved breast projection.

Breast augmentation often helps to achieve a more proportionate body shape, as well as symmetrical breasts.

Implants are also suited to women who want a breast reconstruction following having breast cancer.

Suitable candidates are:

  • Healthy and fit
  • Not pregnant
  • Not breastfeeding
  • Fully developed breasts
  • Non smokers

How can A/Prof Dean White help you?

To make sure that your breast augmentation surgery is both safe and effective, it is essential that you choose a surgeon is fully qualified and experienced in the field of plastic surgery.

A/Prof  White is fully trained and qualified, and is a member of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. If you would like to know more about his education, experience and credentials, click here.

Please click here to get in touch with Mr Dean White and to book in for a consultation.


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