Is it safe for a person with rheumatoid arthritis to have a breast augmentation procedure? Could there be complications?

Doctor Answers 10

Check with your doctor first.

You should be able to have breast augmentation surgery without any added discomfort or increased risk of complications. The best person to ask, though, is your rheumatologist who knows your medical history and can make the best judgment about how surgery may affect your condition. If your rheumatologist clears you for surgery, you can then make an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss how breast augmentation can help you achieve your dream look. Be sure to tell your plastic surgeon about your arthritis and any treatments or medications you take for it.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 120 reviews


Safety is a number one priority when it comes to aesthetic surgery.  In my practice, performing breast augmentation in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis is very safe.I recommend an in-office examination as well as a detailed discussion with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Best wishes!

Dr. Desai
Harvard Educated, Beverly Hills & Miami Beach Trained, Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Urmen Desai, MD, MPH, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 233 reviews

Is it safe for a person with rheumatoid arthritis to have a breast augmentation procedure? Could there be complications?

You should be able to undergo Breast augmentation despite having rheumatoid arthritis but you will need medical clearance. You will also have to abstain from various anti-inflammatory meds. You should consult with a Board Certified PS  whom you are comfortable with and whose work you have seen either in real life and/ or in photos. Good luck!

George Lefkovits, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

RA and breast implants

As long as you can get medical clearance and the RA is under control,  it should be ok. Best of luck with your decision to move forward.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Is it safe for a person with rheumatoid arthritis to have a breast augmentation procedure? Could there be complications?

If you have bad arthritis in your neck it could affect anaesthesia but otherwise the disease itself shouldn't increase the risks of surgery. Certain medications used to treat RA can increase risk of infection so make sure to tell your surgeon everything you are taking. Best of luck! 

Mathew A. Plant, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Rheumatoid arthritis

Half of all patients with RA have intracellular mycoplasma and probably many others have intracellular spirochetes.  See the peer reviewed literature by Dr Garth Nicolson. Many women with detoxification defects become ill with an immune deficiency and are much more prone to intracellular infections.  We see many patients in our clinic referred by Lymes doctors for explantation as they have found treatment difficult if the patient has older breast implants.  Some prominent doctors have recently reached out with letters and phone calls to our clinic about this topic recently.  Very few plastic surgeons are even aware of this link. They should however be aware of the warning in the manufacture literature the patients with autoimmune disease or family history of autoimmune should not get implants. 

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast augmentation

Hello and thank you for your question. Breast augmentation is safe in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.  You will need medical clearance by your medical doctor.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with.  I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

Check with your doctors

Breast augmentation with rhematoid arthritis should be fine.
Important to check this with your rheumatologist first.
Saline implants are a consideration for those with autoimmune disorders such as yours.
Science supports silicone implants also as safe.
Best wishes,
Dr Denkler

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Is it safe for a person with rheumatoid arthritis to have a breast augmentation procedure?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Yes, breast augmentation surgery will likely be possible; careful management of your medications will be important (communication between your rheumatologist and plastic surgeon will be helpful).

My best suggestion: select your plastic surgeon carefully. Make sure that he/she is a board certified plastic surgeon who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. Then, communicate your goals carefully as well. As always, patients undergoing any surgical procedure should learn about the potential risks/complications prior to making a decision whether or not to proceed.

Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Is it safe for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis to have breast implants?

Hi and thanks for your question.  With any procedure there is a risk of complications. The biggest risk factor for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is if they are on steroids or methotrexate.  Both of these medications slow down wound healing, putting you at increased risk of having wound problems.  There is no relationship between autoimmune diseases and silicone implants.  And you can't make your RA worse by getting breast implants.

Hope that helps you in your decision!  

Robin Evans, MD, FRCSC
British Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 14 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.