Breast augmentation: Be mindful of possible complications and protect yourself against them

In 2020, a breast augmentation was the most common of all cosmetic surgeries performed worldwide (12,7%). A well-proportioned and firm breast helps many women feel more comfortable in their bodies and build greater self-confidence – especially after accidents or illnesses.

Nowadays there are different types of breast augmentations, which include:

  • Silicone gel breast implants
  • Saline breast implants
  • Fat transfer breast augmentation

All medical procedures are continuously optimized, so that patients can rely on the highest standards of hygiene and safety as well as on high-quality products. Nevertheless, a breast augmentation, like all operations, carries risks – side effects, postoperative complaints and complications can never be ruled out completely.

How often do complications occur during breast augmentations? What complaints can be expected?

If a breast augmentation is performed professionally, there are only minor risks to it. Despite this, all potential complications should of course be considered before such a procedure.

Since a breast augmentation is a surgery, common complications such as post-operative bleeding, wound healing deficits or infections can occur after the procedure. Scarring and stretch marks are also not excluded during the healing process. Rarely, a thrombosis (a painful hardening of the veins, also called Mondor’s disease) can occur, but typically subsides after a few weeks. Slight secondary bleeding and bruising are among the most common risks: about 3% of women suffer from it temporarily after a breast augmentation.

Complications of breast augmentations with breast implants

Especially during or after the use of breast implants, injury to the mammary glands can occur, which in very rare cases can affect the ability to breastfeed. Likewise, injured nerves can reduce the sensibility in the breast. Even if the breast implants are of high quality, shifting or damage is possible – in this case, usually a new procedure is necessary to ensure the patient’s continued health.

Complications of fat transfer breast augmentations

A breast augmentation by fat transfer is also not completely risk-free. In particular, the formation of oil cysts can occur, as well as the uneven degradation of fat cells or calcification of the dead fat tissue. This means that a hardening or even an asymmetrical appearance of the breasts might develop.

Capsular contracture: One of the most common complications of breast augmentation

A so-called capsular contracture is a frequent side effect of breast surgeries. In 15% of all cases, it occurs within the first year after the breast augmentation. In the case of capsular contracture, the body reacts defensively to the implant as a foreign body, thus encapsulating the implant. In extreme cases, this may lead to a deformation of the breast. Clinically, this kind of side effect can be classified in four grades – from a mild, symptom-free hardening to the pronounced variant, which is associated with severe and permanent pain.

Postoperative bleeding and tissue damage in particular increase the risk of later capsular contracture. If a capsular contracture is detected early enough, ultrasound therapy or a endoscopic capsulotomy can help, in which the treating surgeon cuts into the contracted capsular tissue to provide more space for the breast implant. However, if the encapsulation has already progressed, usually the only option left is to remove the implants. This is an expensive procedure that is only partially covered or not covered at all by health insurance – patients therefore often have to pay the high costs of 4,000 to 7,000 euros themselves.

Protect yourself against expensive complications after a breast augmentation with cosmetic surgery insurance

Many complications after breast augmentations can be avoided by regular follow-up examinations, as well as by choosing a professionally well-trained expert who uses high-quality products. To avoid any financial risks, it is particularly worthwhile to take out a cosmetic surgery insurance from safe4beauty. This insurance takes effect if expensive follow-up treatments are necessary due to complications that arise as a result of an aesthetic surgery. This way, patients can optimally protect themselves against further risks.

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