Capsular Contracture – A capsule forms around all breast implants after placement, but only when the capsule thickens, contracts, and tightens around the implant is it a contracture. Shape of the breast changes, breast becomes firm or hard, and may become deformed, mis-shaped, and painful. Montelukast or Zafirlukast medications may soften the breasts and relieve pain but usually surgery is required to remove the capsule and replace implants. Can re-occur after new implants placed.
- Asymmetry – The right and left breasts are almost never identical mirror images of one another, mild asymmetry is completely normal and aesthetic. When the asymmetry appears un-aesthetic and/or un-natural, the reason should be identified. The solution is often surgical revision.
- Implant Malposition – If the center of the implant is not directly behind the nipple, the breast appears un-aesthetic. Re-positioning the implant and/or the nipple and areola are often required to improve breast appearance.
- Discomfort / Aching Pain – May develop any time after breast augmentation, and indicate surgical injury, stretching, or displacement of nerves, muscle injury, rib inflammation, capsular contracture, implant rupture, fibrocystic changes, or other problem.
- Disappointing Size – Selection of the best size implant may or may not be successful. Sometimes only after having the implants for a while does it become apparent that a smaller or larger size would be more suitable. Changes in the woman’s body (weight loss or gain, pregnancy) may induce desire for smaller or larger implant. Pursuit of a more active sport may make a smaller implant more comfortable. Career, lifestyle, and wardrobe changes may also change size preference.
- Wrinkling / Rippling – Thin skin over a breast implant may show ripples or wrinkles in certain positions or with muscle contraction if the device is beneath pectoralis major muscle.
- Numbness of one or both nipples – Loss of nipple sensation or hypersensitivity is often temporary after breast augmentation but may be permanent if nerves are significantly displaced or injured during implant placement. This can be unpredictable. If nipple sensation is important for sexual response, the surgeon should be aware of this in advance and design the procedure to protect sensory nerves of the breast as much as possible.
- Scar visibility – Expert planning of the augmentation for scar placement and expert wound closure for scar quality are important for the most obscure invisible scars. Even so, some women are genetically predisposed to form dark, thick, or wide scars. In such cases, surgical scar excision and secondary closure may be indicated.
- Implant Failure (rupture) – If the implants are filled with saline (salt water), rupture is obvious because the failed implant deflates quickly producing dramatic breast asymmetry. If the implant is filled with silicone gel, rupture (failure) is often “silent” and may remain undetected for years. Only imaging with ultrasound, CT scan, or magnetic resonance (MRI) or a change in breast texture, shape, or discomfort will indicate the problem. Both the FDA and implant manufacturers recommend removal of failed implants with or without replacement.
- Hematoma (post surgical bleeding) – bruising is common after breast augmentation surgery, but dramatic asymmetry that was not present before augmentation, or painful swelling on one side likely indicates bleeding around the implant after wound closure. Secondary surgery to evacuate (remove) the blood clot (hematoma) may be indicated.