Odd of Complications from Breast Lift and Saline Implant Surgery?

Hello, I realize I am on a website dedicated to answering patient medical questions and concerns; which I am truely thankful for. My question relates to the odds of a woman having complications with a breast lift and Saline Implants. I, as with every other woman attempting this procedure, only want sucess and will do everything my surgeon asks me to do. Does anyone know what the stats are regarding uneventful breast lifts with saline implant insertion versus the same procedure with issues?

Doctor Answers 9

Risks and possible complications following breast augmentation with a vertical lift

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Dear Julie,

Combining a vertical lift with an implant (staged or non-staged) will inevitably result in another lift sooner than later. The reason for this is that the vertical incision inherently weakens the lift. Every woman knows that skin is simply not enough to hold the weight of a breast. Why then, would you add the weight of an implant on top of that?? Think about it, why would you place a cut at the point of maximum tension? It doesn't make sense. Just because most PS do this, does not make it right. There is a new series of techniques that do not utilize a vertical scar regardless of size or ptosis (degree of sagginess). The Ultimate Breast Lift or the Mini Ultimate Breast Lift have revolutionized and greatly improved the dynamics of breast lifting techniques. Do your research. This is a great start.

Kind regards,

Dr. H

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Risks of Breast Lift with Implants

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All surgical procedures carry some degree of risk. Any breast operation can result in changes in sensation. This happens less with lifts than reductions but is still possible. Occasionally, minor complications occur and do not affect the surgical outcome. Major complications associated with this procedure are rare. The suitability of the breast lift procedure and specific risks may be determined during your consultation.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Odds of complications with breast lift and saline implant surgery.

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Somewhere the odds of either one alone except for the fact of cutting of the skin does put more pressure on the incision line,  which may lead to greater incidences of dishiscence of the skin but with good subcutaneous closure, this usually does not happen.

John S. Poser, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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Complications increase when a lift and an augmentation are done at the same time.

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Julie, While the complication rates of either a lift or a augmentation by themselves are small, when combined it increases the risks markedly.  As noted, the lift is tightening the skin and the augmentation is stretching the skin, so 2 very different forces are at work and can lead to poor wound healing due to tension on the skin closure.  I do not combine them but offer a lift 1st, to produce a perkier, better shaped breast and then will do the augmentation later after the lift has had a chance to soften, settle and mature.  This approach is safe and reduces complications and possible need for revision surgery.

Complications from Breast Lift and Saline Implant Surgery

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Combining a breast lift with an implant increases the risk of complications.The reason for this is that the breast lift tightens the breast skin,while the implant stretches the breast skin.Therefore two opposing forces are created.

One option is to use an adjustable saline implant .The implant can be placed underfilled initially ,and then filled to the desired volume once healing has taken place 

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Vertical lift and infection

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It is rare to have a breast infection after a vertical lift iwth implants. The risk is probably about 1-2 % if that high during the initial post-op period.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Risk of complications with lift plus implant surgery.

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Hi Julie1968. I just answered a more specific question you asked about possible infection after vertical breast lift plus implants 2 weeks post-op, so I have additional information with which to answer this question of yours.

Generally, the risk of infection with implant surgery alone is significanlty less than 1%. More incisions needed for breast lifting adds more potential sites for bacterial introduction into the wounds, and if indeed infection develops, the implant could become contaminated, infected, and require removal. This is still quite rare overall, assuming an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon operating in an accredited surgical facility.

Non-plastic surgeons operating in subsandard conditions (like a gynecologist putting in implants in a birthing center, or a dermatologist inserting implants in a non-accredited office operating room, or even exam room) would naturally have a higher rate of infection. They would also have less training and capability to deal with issues properly when they DO occur.

Statistics are useful only when applied to sufficient numbers of patients in controlled studies. Individual factors, such as smoking or nicotine exposure when skin flaps are elevated for breast lift, are much more important, and require individualized care and decision-making.

Overall, breast lift plus implant patients have very low risk of infection (still on the order of less than 1%), but there are many other potential risks and complications (circulation problems causing dead skin or poor healing, implant malposition, capsular contracture, bad scarring, etc.) that increase the total chance for "issues" (other than infection). These are much more common than the risk of infection.

While I really want to reassure you, you have specific concerns best addressed by your own surgeon. Please contact him or her for recheck and examination so your concerns can be laid to rest and appropriately dealt with if necessary! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Complications from breast lift are few

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The real risk of a complication from a breast lift with or without implants is very small. Risks such as infection or a bleed, capsular contracture, is fairly low. If you consider dissatisfation with the result a risk, Realself notes that satisfaction is 85% with a worth it rating. All of us want success so choose your surgeon and 'look' carefully.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Lift and Complications

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There is no standard answer to your question as there are many factors that will influence the outcome. Various factors such as the vertical distance lifted,the size of the implant,type of implant,patient health ,ethnicity,technique used to name a few will all play a role in the final result.

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.