National Breast Implant Awareness Month, observed annually in March, is dedicated to raising awareness and education about breast implants. With the rise in popularity of breast augmentation procedures, it’s essential to understand the implications and potential risks of this cosmetic surgery.
Breast implants are medical devices that are placed under the breast tissue or chest muscle to add volume and enhance the appearance of the breasts. While breast implants have become more common and widely accepted, it’s important to remember that they still require a surgical procedure and come with some potential risks and complications.
Common side effects of breast implant surgery include chronic pain, swelling, infection and changes in nipple or breast sensation. Other more serious risks include implant leakage, ruptures, silicone toxicity, and capsular contractures (scar tissue that contracts around the implant). These complications might require more surgery to remove or replace the implants.
It’s also important to be aware the FDA warns of the increased risks of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a rare type of cancer that can develop around the implant and breast implant-associated squamous cell carcinoma (BIA-SCC), These are both rare types of cancer that can develop around the scar tissue and fluid around the implant, but in some cases, they can spread to the whole body.
To minimize the risk of complications, choosing a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon with a good track record in breast explant procedures is essential. I understand the symptoms that breast implants can cause, including the risk of developing Breast Implant Illness, so I strictly avoid implant-based augmentations and reconstructions and only remove implants.
Breast Implant Awareness Month provides an opportunity for patients to educate themselves on the topic and make informed decisions about their health and appearance. By doing so, you can help ensure a safe and successful outcome.