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Risk Of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome With Breast Augmentation?

I've read a few articles where it said one of the side effects of breast implantation is thoracic outlet syndrome. Is there a way to avoid this? Why would someone develop TOS when others don't?

Doctor Answers (12)

Risk of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome With Implants?


No there is no risk what-so-ever even with 1000 cc implants. BUT if you have TOS before surgery, you will still have it after surgery and it may be a little worse. I have placed over 30,000 implants in every size up to 3500 cc each, over a 40 year period, without seeing TOS even once.

Dr Foster  Lake Tahoe Plastic Surgery

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Risks of breast augmentation


I don't think that having breast implants can create thoracis outlet syndrome; however, there may be some reports of individuals who are prone to TOS that get exacerbated from having their arm positioned outward during the procedure of breast augmentation itself.

Any flareup of TOS should be self-limited and resolve in time with physical therapy.

I hope this clarifies.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome


If a patient has thoracic outlet syndrome, the arm positioning during the procedure may exacerbate the symptoms for a period of time, but this usually resolves spontaneously.  The placement of a breast implant does not affect the area of the thoracic outlet-it is a different anatomic site.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Complications of breast augmentation


i am not aware of TOS being reported from breast augmentation..  if there is a report it is extemely . it would be difficult for an augmentation to anatomically create  this syndrome.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome cannot be associated with a breast augmentation


Breast implants sit in front of the rib cage.  TOS is anatomically different.  The only possible way anyone could ever associate the two is if during a trans-axillary approach they went in the wrong direction (ie the opposite direction from where they should be going) and injured the nerves.  More likely whatever you found incorrectly associated TOS with upper extremity nerve problems from incorrect hand positioning during surgery that took way too long.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Thoracic Outlet Synrome Is Not Related To Breast Augmentation


There is no scientific evidence or medical research that I am aware of that suggests that women with breast augmentation are at an increased risk for thoracic outlet syndrome. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Thoracic outlet syndrome with breast augmentation


I have not heard of this complication.  I would think it would be quite rare with the standard inframammary approach.  Donald R. Nunn Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Thoracic outlet syndrome and breast augmentation


I have never heard of any association between breast augmentation and thoracic outlet syndrome.  The thoracic outlet is located on the side of the neck, far upper chest, and towards the shoulder.  This area is bound by the first rib, clavicle, scapula, sternum and the cervical-thoracic spine.  The syndrome involves pain and other symptoms associated with compression of nerves (brachial plexus), arteries, or both in this region.  I cannot think of any anatomic basis for thoracic outlet syndrome as a consequence of breast augmentation.  In addition, I have never seen a case in our practice with over a 1000 augmentations completed.  I hope that this is helpful.  Good luck.

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome & Breast Augmentation


I never heard of TOS after breast augmentation. Can you post or send information on where you heard about his?

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

"A few articles on thoracic outlet syndrome" and breast augmentation?


As the others have said, after over 25+ years of doing thousands of breast augmentations and going to national meetings and reading the journals, I have never once heard the mention of TOS in assoication with breast augmentation.  I suppose that if one were predisposed anatomically to having it, then had a BA, they might mistakenly think there were a cause and effect relationship when they would actually have had the TOS regardless. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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