Risks from Breast Augmentation for Diabetics?

What are the risks from having breast implants for a diabetic woman over 50 years old?

Doctor Answers 11

Risks from Breast Augmentation for Diabetics?

Hello!  Thank you for your question!  There are a few medical comorbidities that contribute to a higher risk during any surgical procedure including infections, wound complications, delayed wound healing, bleeding, anesthetic risks, etc.  Diabetes is one that is known to have an increased risk for infections and wound healing issues. There are a number of both systemic and local host factors that can contribute to infections.  Whether or not diabetics are truly at greater risk and the magnitude of the effect of diabetes on the risk of infection remain controversial.  However, there is a known increased propensity to develop infections and delayed healing.  Some of the hyperglycemia-related impairments on the immune response include vascular insufficiency, sensory peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy,  and skin and mucosal colonization with pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Candida species.  

That being said, well-controlled diabetes should equate a minimal increased risk for the above and surgical procedures still safe and a reasonable decision.  You should ensure adequate glucose control always, but also obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician that you are at an acceptable risk for undergoing a surgical procedure.  Laboratory results such as HgbA1C is a good measure of control.  Discuss all of your medical comorbidities and medication with your surgeon prior and discuss these risks.  This procedure should still be very safe for you and hope for an uncomplicated course with an excellent result!  Hope that this helps!  Best wishes!  

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Risks from Breast Augmentation for Diabetics?

Thank you for the question.

Well controlled diabetes is not a contraindication to breast augmentation and/or other elective plastic surgical procedures. Always best to check with your primary care physician or endocrinologist for “medical clearance” prior to surgery.  Managing your diabetic medications around the time of surgery (to avoid hypo as well as hyperglycemia), while you will have altered oral intake, will be important.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Breast implant augmentation in a diabetic

The risks are comparable to any other individual of a similar age with possibly and increased, but unquantifiable risk of infection and possible diminished sensitivity as well as peri-operative difficulties in managing blood sugars.

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

Is your blood sugar under control

Although diabetics are at a higher risk for wound healing as well as neuropathies, kidney disease, and eye disease, that risk is much less when the blood sugar is within the normal ranges. Most plastic surgeons place their patients on antibiotics routinely for breast augmentation surgery. Discuss this with your plastic surgeon so that he is aware of your diabetes and also discuss the pending surgery with your endocrinologist. Sometimes they will alter your medication regimen in the perioperative period.

Joseph M. Perlman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast augmentation and diabetes

As long as your sugars are well controlled, you should be fine for surgery.  Although, having diabetes does put you at a slightly higher risk for wound healing problems.  Make sure your endocrinologist or primary care physician is also aware of this and clears you before your surgery.  Good luck!

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 201 reviews

Minimally increased

As a diabetic your risks for infection and anesthesia are generally slightly higher than non diabetice. You should have a thorough evaluation by you internal medicine doctor with special attention to the heart. Many diabetics can have silent heart disease. Otherwise your risk increase if minimal.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast Augmentation Risk for Diabetics

It all depends on your general health. If your diabetes (blood sugar) is in excellent control and you have no complications of diabetes like heart disease, uncontrolled hypertension, kidney or vascular disease then your risk may be very manageable. You will want to get an opinion from your primary care doctor or internist who knows you best and helps you manage your diabetes. If your diabetes has been managed and controlled well and you have the concurrence of your internist then there should be very little if any increased risk with breast augmentation.

John E. Gross, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Your risk of infection may be slightly higher.


We have done breast implants successfully on insulin-dependent diabetics. They do not appear to have any additional problems related to their diabetes. However, there are risks to anesthesia and also risks of infection that are likely higher in a diabetic. Make sure you have medical clearance from your diabetes doctor and make sure the anesthesiologist is aware of your diabetes ahead of time.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Risks from breast augmentation for diabetics

It all depends on your general health. To be safe, I would suggest you have a recent through examination to eliminate any other potential risk factors.

If your diabetes is well controlled and you have no other health issues, the fact that you have diabetes should NOT impact how you would do with a breast augmentation.

Good Luck.

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

Breast augmentation risks in diabetics

Diabetics generally have suppressed immune systems and less ability to heal wounds than non-diabetics, especially if the diabetes is not controlled. I am not aware of any specific studies that compared complication, infection and wound healing rates of diabetics and non-diabetics for this operation. I counsel all my patients to have their diabetes well controlled prior to undergoing any cosmetic surgery.

Michael Diaz, MD
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.