A breast augmentation is a relatively simple routine procedure, but as with any operation there are specific risks to this procedure:
Infections can occur in all procedures, but in breast augmentation this is relatively uncommon. It is important that the surgeon adheres to the surgical protocol for the placement of a breast prosthesis. Infections present themselves mainly in the first one to two months after the operation. It presents itself with redness and sensitive swollen breasts. Antibiotics can control the infection at an early stage. Should antibiotics not prove to be successful, the prostheses will need to be removed until the infection has completely subsided. Thereafter, a new prosthesis may be placed three to six months later. In some cases, a salvage procedure can be done by replacing the infected prosthesis immediately under adequate antibiotic cover.
As with any surgery, bleeding can occur after the procedure, presenting itself with painful swelling of the breast. The blood around the prosthesis will need to be removed and the bleeding controlled. Fortunately, bleeding doesn’t occur often, but if it does the chances of excessive capsule formation will increase.
3. Excessive capsule formation
Foreign bodies that are placed in the body, such as breast prostheses, will be surrounded by scar tissue: a capsule. Sometimes the body continues to thicken this capsule producing a thick hard layer that will contract. In the beginning the prostheses will feel a little stiff, but this is not normally a problem. If the capsule contracts further, the shape of the prosthesis will become more like a ball. This is referred to as a capsule contracture. Eventually, when the contracture continues, it will become painful. A capsule contracture will present itself most often within the first three months to a year. The cause of a contracture is not completely clear, but bleeding, infection, and leakage of the prostheses can be associated with it. The management of a capsule contracture involves either breaking up the capsule, removing it, or creating a new pocket for the new prostheses above or below the capsule. Textured prostheses have a smaller chance of excessive capsule formation when placed above the muscle compared to smooth prostheses above the muscle.