What are the Risks with Breast Augmentation

Dr Nancy Van Laeken MD, FRCSC, Plastic Surgeon discusses What are the Risks with Breast Augmentation.

Loading the player...

Dr Nancy Van Laeken MD, FRCSC, Plastic Surgeon discusses What are the Risks with Breast Augmentation.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Nancy Van Laeken, MD, FRCSC
,Risks with Breast Augmentation What are the Risks with Breast Augmentation
Duration: 2 minutes, 12 seconds

Most breast augmentation patients are very happy. They are very pleased with the outcome of the surgery. 

Some of the myths that we have to dispel when we speak to patients are about breast feeding, surveillance for breast cancer and repeat operations. Patients who have a breast augment, usually there is no reason why they should not consider breast-feeding and proceed with breast-feeding when the time comes.

As far as surveillance for breast cancer, mammograms can still be done; ultra sound can still be done.  Patients are still encouraged to do breast self-examinations. 

As part of the recovery from breast augmentation surgery, patients are often asked to massage their breasts and their implants to maintain a soft feel. In the act of massaging their breasts, they are automatically doing breast self-examinations so they become familiar with that.

Therefore, there is no potential risk of missing breast cancer or not being able to be monitored for that if you have breast augmentation surgery.

Some patients do require revision surgery, i.e. another operation at some point.  Sometimes that is just related to them wanting to have a different shape of implant or different size. Sometimes it is related to them having a condition called capsular contracture where some scar tissue develops around the breast implant and that is something that patients do read about online.

If it becomes to the extent that it affects the appearance of the breast then patients might require surgery to correct that, and of course, if the implant leaks they might have to have the implant removed or exchanged. Those are not invasive operations, it is unfortunate when it happens but all patients are made aware that is a possibility.

Breast implants are put in with the intent that they will be there for the patient’s whole life.  That is another thing that patients will ask about the procedure.  If they are aesthetically acceptable, i.e., the patient likes how they look, likes how they feel, there is no reason to change them every five or ten years and that is one of the presumptions that patients will make that they will automatically have to have the operation redone and that is not necessary.  If it looks good, feels good, they do not have to have anything done.

If patients have any further questions about breast augmentation surgery, they should seek a referral to a plastic surgeon that does the operation.

Presenter: Dr. Nancy Van Laeken, Plastic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Plastic Surgeon

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

QA Chat
Ask us a health question on
diagnosis/treatment options...