Breast Augmentation Complications

Is there ever a time when after breast augmentation you can say someone is in the clear and not going to experience any complications or side effects?

Doctor Answers 9

Breast augmentation recovery

The immediate recovery complications (pain, infection, bleeding, etc) will most likely be of no to minimal risk 6 weeks out. However, the implants can become infected at any point after, they may rupture or leak, and you may get scarring around the implants (capsular contracture.) So, make sure you follow up with your plastic surgeon as directed, and if you notice any problems starting to develop call him/her soon.

Late breast augmentation complications are uncommon

Once you get past about one month, then the risks for things like infection or hematoma are way down. There is always a small chance that an implant could leak or rupture. This can be addressed by simply exchanging the implant. There is always a small chance that the capsule that surrounds the implant could contract which could require more surgery to address. Just like any procedure, you are never 100% in the clear, but these risks are minimal enough that most people feel the procedure is definitely worth it.

Good luck!

Shain A. Cuber, MD
Edison Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

When is someone in the clear regarding Breast Augmentation complications

Dear Nachochz,

For clarity, let us DEFINE what "complications" are - They are unexpected, unwanted events that cannot be predicted. In other words if for example, you smoke and as a result you will poorly. Such poor healing or wound popping open is NOT strictly a complication since it could conceivably been prevented. Similarly, if you had a few aspirins before surgery and you ended up with a blood clot formation (hematoma) - that too was a consequence of taking a blood thinning agent and this unfortunate event too was avoidable.

Since we know that ALL breast implants will deflate / leak EVENTUALLY, that is not a complication. It is to be expected. Similarly, If you and your surgeon picked real large breast implants that proceeded to cause breast thinning and rapid breast sagging - that too would be an EXPECTED consequence of the weight of the implants and is NOT a complication, strictly speaking.

That being understood, all surgical complications can and are divided into EARLY (acute 1-2 days, subacute 3-14 days) and DELAYED (months - years).

I agree with my colleagues Drs. Placik and Rand that once you have an implant placed (breast, joint, pacemaker, heart valve) you are NEVER "out of the woods", "in the clear", but the risk of such delayed complications a month or longer after breast augmentation is VERY small.

The only late complications you will need to worry about is scarring around the implants (capsular contracture) and infection of the implants - both of which are most commonly thought to be the result of bacteria in the blood (such as a urine infection, vigorous dental work etc). Opinions VARY among Plastic surgeons and the American Academy of Cardiologists but I DO recommend you take antibiotics when you anticipate bacteremia (such as dental work).

Overall, breast augmentation done by a board certified plastic surgeon is a very safe procedure and I would not worry too much about it.

I hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Breast augmentation and complications

Breast augmentation can have complications.  Early complications include hematoma, seroma, numbness, infection, unfavorable scarring, nipple loss, incision breakdowns, and exposure of the implant. Late complications can include capsular contracture, implant rupture, and infection to name a few.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast augmentation complications can occur early and late but are rare

With breast implants, you are never totally free of the possibility of complications. Early ones can occur as early as the day or evening of surgery such as a hematoma. These are rare after 2 weeks. Infections are rare and usually occur earlier than later but rare ones can occur much later in life from bacteria in the blood stream. Capsular contractures and implant integrity problems develop later.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Complications after breast augmentation.


If you are doing fine one month after breast augmentation, you are "in the clear", except that   1) an implant can leak at any time (  risk is about 1% per year ), and  2) a breast can become too firm (capsular contracture) at any time.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

There is a risk after any surgery

 The risks of complication after breast augmentation is like any other surgery. Breast augmentation has certain specific risks that are different like harding of the breast( capsular contraction) , rippling, not beine happy with the size( most common) and thinging of the breast skin.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Post-augmentation complications

There are acute complications and chronic complications. Immediately post-op, bleeding or post-anesthesia risks are our main concern. This can be evident even intra-operatively. If there are no signs of hematoma during the first 24 hours, then next time interval is a few days later when infections can occur. Subacute bleeding and seromas can occur rarely and may be evident 7-10 days out when clots can start to dissolve. I have even seen a hematoma form two months post-op in a resident case. Capsular contractures can declare themselves within the first few months but can also occur after stimulating events like the flu many years post-op. Leakage rates is mainly a function of time and obviously increase the longer you have the implants. Finally there are long term problems like soft tissue atrophy and bony erosion that can occur after decades. So if you don't want any complications or side effects, don't have the surgery. If you are willing to assume some risk amd to be vigilent and prudent, then breast augmentation on the whole can be a very satisfying procedure. Remember, choose your surgeon and your operation wisely, and smaller is always less risky than larger over the long run.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast augmentation complications

You can never say there is a point where you will never experience a complication. Complications are always possible. Fortunately they are relatively low in frequency. Our greatest concern for any surgery is within the first 24 hours and then up to 7-10 days. During this period, we tend to be vigilant for the potential complications of early or delayed bleeding or infection. As time proceeds over the longterm, we are more likely to see implant deflation or rupture.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.