Got Breast Implants Today But Ended Up With a Broken Rib Also?

I was a 36c and agreed with doctor that 600cc was enough for me. After the surgery I couldn't breath ended up in the hospital and they told me I had a broken rib. Is it normal for surgeon's to exceed the amount of cc's that you requested?

Doctor Answers 13

Broken ribs after Augmentation

Broken ribs would be a very rare type of complication after breast augmentation. Deflation of the lung, called a pnemothorax, is well known and usually the result of injection of local anesthetics. You should discuss all of this with your surgeon. 

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Broken Rib after breast augmentation

Thank you for that interesting question.  It would be very unusual to have a broken rib after breast augmentation surgery.  If you were told this, I would certainly want to know who diagnosed it and how they did it.  If it is a non-surgeon, they may have confused pain/discomfort for a rib fracture.  Some sort of imaging (x-ray or CT) would really be needed for this.  


As far as a surgeon placing a different size of implant during surgery, this can happen but it should be within a small and reasonable margin from your discussion in the office before surgery.  After all, the goal is to give you breasts that you are happy with.  

Good luck.

Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Got Breast Implants Today But Ended Up With a Broken Rib Also?

It is extremely rare to have a rib fracture during an augmentation. I would sit with my plastic surgeon and find out exactly what happened to lead to this complication.  It is less rare to have a pneumothorax from a punctured lung during augmentation. This can be due to injection of local anesthesia prior to surgery.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rib Fracture Rare After Augmentation

While a pneomothorax or collapsed lung is a known complication of breast augmentation, rib fractures are very rare.  Please discuss this matter further with your surgeon to get a better understanding. Best wishes on your recovery.

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Time to sit down with your surgeon to discuss your breast implant surgery and problems.


A rare complication of breast enlargement surgery is a pneumothorax (difficulty breathing with air outside of your lung and within the rib cage). This can be a surgery related problem or related to over inflation of the lung with a small rupture of the air containing tissues. A CXR and, or, a CAT scan can diagnose the problem. I have never seen or heard of a fractured rib occurring during the operation to enlarge breasts. Spend some time with you surgeon and ask him about your implant size concerns; he (she) should also fill you in on the diagnosis that put you in the hospital, as well.   Best Regards,


Douglas J. Raskin, MD
Colorado Springs Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Can Breast Implants Cause A Rib Fracture?

I have never heard of nor can conceive of a fractured rib happening in breast augmentation. I have heard of the pleura of the lung being violated and that certainly can make you feel like you can't breathe. Regardless, the size of a breast implant is not going to be the cause of a rib fracture even in larger implants of 600cc or greater in any body type.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

600 cc Implant and Broken Rib

 600 cc implant is a very large implant, and I cannot imagine going much bigger than that.  No matter what volume was used, the volume alone would not have caused a rib fracture.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Broken rib after Breast Surgery

Hello, with all due respect, I have Never heard about such a bizarre complication due to a regular Breast Augmentation surgery, no matter the size of the implant. Nevertheless the first tissues expected to be afected by high volume pressure will be the ones arround the aproach incision.  ... Did you ask you PS.  how  they diagnosed it, by CT, ? Hope you get well soon

Best Wishes

Ricardo Vega, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Breast augmentation complication?

I've never heard of such a complication.  Rib fractures are sometimes very hard to diagnose with just a chest x-ray.  Was a CT scan done to confirm it?  If just a CXR was done, it may be a "false positive" result (meaning it may look like a fracture, but a CT is needed to confirm). Is the rib fracture directly below one of the implants or on the side of your chest? As far as the size implants, most plastic surgeons discuss this pre-op with their patients in detail and respect the patient's desires.

Victor Ferrari, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Never heard of it. I cannot imagine how it could have happened. Are you sure you were done by a

Never heard of it.  I cannot imagine how it could have happened.  Are you sure you were done by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Gary H. Manchester, MD (retired)
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.