Breast Augmentation Risks and Safety

Breast augmentation cosmetic surgery has become less invasive and less painful over the years due to improved surgical techniques and advanced qualities of implants. This has also led to risk mitigation, but some risks continue to be associated with breast augmentation as with any other surgery. Implant-related risks also exist, which are unique to this procedure.

During the initial consultation, the surgeon will apprise the patient about the potential risks and complications associated with breast augmentation. The first goal of the surgeon will be to help the patient make a well-informed choice. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom provides breast augmentation and other surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures to patients in Chicago, IL and surrounding locations.


Implant-related Risks

Some of the risks and complications in breast augmentation plastic surgery exist because of the involvement of silicone or saline breast implants.


Capsular Contracture

Following the surgical placement of implants in the breast pocket, the body’s healing mechanism will be triggered. This will result in the formation of scar tissue around the implants. But in a few cases, the scar tissue may tend to contract or become hard, putting undue pressure on the implants.

The scar tissue tightening may squeeze the implants, causing them to lose their shape, shift from their position, or become damaged. Pain may be experienced as the breast capsule hardens. In such a situation, the breast surgeon may suggest breast implant revision surgery.


Implant Rippling

Sometimes large sized implants may be used, but the available breast skin may not be adequate to cover the implant comfortably. This will result in the implant developing wrinkles or folds. A rippling effect may occur on the skin surface, distorting the natural breast appearance.

A skilled cosmetic surgeon will ensure that only the most appropriate implant size and shape is selected in order to minimize the risk of implant rippling. Dr. Bloom receives patients from Chicago, IL and nearby areas for breast augmentation.


Implant Shifting or Rupture

In rare circumstances, the implant may shift from its original position soon after the surgery has been performed. In case of bigger implants, the risk of displacement will increase. The risk of implant rupture will be there in all types of implants.

If the rupture takes place in saline implants, the implant will immediately deflate and the problem will be detected. But in case of silicone implants, the rupture may only get noticed during a breast MRI. Breast replacement or removal surgery may have to be performed to address these conditions.


Surgery-related Risks


Infection risks are higher during and immediately after the implant procedure. The surgical facility should maintain high standards of hygiene, and the patient should keep the incision areas clean and dry to minimize infection risks.


Numbness in Nipples

Change of sensation, sensitivity or numbness in the nipple area may occur after breast augmentation. The condition generally resolves in about two months, but may become prolonged in a few cases.


Unfavorable Scarring

Some degree of scarring is inevitable in breast augmentation, but the impact can be minimized by placing the incisions in inconspicuous locations.



Fluid collections as a result of swelling can form around the implant.  Small collections usually resolve on their own.  Larger collections can be managed with careful draining procedures in conjunction with a radiologist.



Immediately after surgery bleeding can occur.  A collection of blood in a surgical site is called a hematoma.  In most cases this will be managed surgically to evacuate the blood collection to prevent increased risk of capsular contracture and infection.