Had open heart surgery 30 years ago due to hole in heart. Am I putting my health/breast at risk by getting breast augmentation?

At age 6 I had open heart surgery to repair a hold in my heart. I do not have a cardiologist, once repaired it was like it never happened. I am considering breast augmentation but was recently advised by a surgeon to be very cautious and that this could be catastrophic. Needless to say, a scary comment. In your professional opinion, would you have concerns performing breast augmentation on me as a patient? If I were your daughter would you advise me to do it?

Doctor Answers 10

Preoperative Evaluation: Information

Dear Ms. Kalena4905,

Safety is our number one objective in elective "non necessary" cosmetic surgery.
Please make a appointment with a Cardiologist who has expertise (that we don't have as Plastic Surgeons) and ask for a preoperative medical clearance.

If you receive a medical clearance I recommend that you make several consultative appointments with Plastic Surgeons who are experienced and Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In addition ideally they are members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

I wish you my best and success,

R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600

Riverside Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 99 reviews



Assuming you have normal cardiac function, this surgery will not put you at any higher risk than someone who has not had your cardiac malformation and repair.  You should get medical clearance though to assure that you have normal function, and this may be as simple as talking to you and listening to your heart, or may involve an echocardiagram. Although breast surgery seems anatomically close to your heart, it really isn't.  That was just scary talk not based in reality. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Open heart surgery and breast implants

To be on the safe side you should have a cardiac echo to check for any abnormalities in heart chamber filling/emptying and wall motion and an EKG to check the signaling pathways of the heart. This is of course done by a cardiologist. If all is okay you could proceed as any other patient. If it is not you might need something as simple as antibiotics or other medication before surgery. You most definitely should not have the surgery without the appropriate clearance as safety should be every surgeon's and patient's first priority.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast Augmentation After Pediatric Open-Heart Surgery?

Thank you for your question. In that your surgery was successful, and that you are completely asymptomatic, your surgical risk is likely similar to other patients. I would certainly make your local plastic surgeon aware of your history prior to an elective augmentation procedure. 

Michael F. Bohley, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast surgery after open heart surgery is possible

Repair of a hole in your heart doesn't preclude breast surgery.  If you're in good health and your heart is healthy, the fact that you had you chest opened shouldn't be a problem.  I have done breast implants on a women over the years who have had open heart surgery and never had it interfere. 

Daryl K. Hoffman, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Breast augmentation after heart surgery?

As long as your cardiac function is normal, and the surgery did not involve valve replacement, in my opinion there is no increased risk. Certainly, there may be different thought on this matter and I would get the opinion of a cardiologist who knows your history.  

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Am I putting my health/breast at risk by getting breast augmentation?

Thanks for your question,  If cleared by a cardiologist you should not be at greater risk than any other patient.  The key here is to be evaluated and checked before committing to elective anesthesia but at your age, without smoking and being at a healthy weight with good exercise tolerance you'll probably get the ok.

Good luck!

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, Am Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, Am. Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Heart risk and augmentation

There is always a risk to any elective surgery such as breast augmentation when anesthesia is used for all patients. Prior to your surgery, it would be reasonable to have an evaluation by a cardiologist who can evaluate your current cardiac health and determine if there is an increased risk specific to your situation. Once cleared, by coordinating your care with your cardiologist, your plastic surgeon can make any adjustments as necessary to your treatment plan to increase the safety of your procedure. Best of luck!

Johnson C. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breast augmentation dangerous?

Regardless of any surgery that you undertake you will require a preoperative clearance which will require you to be cleared for surgery by your primary care and likely your cardiologist if you have one. Repair of congenital heart deformity is not by itself a contraindication to elective surgery.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Previous Cardiac abnormality as a child

Hello and thank you for your question. It is best to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to review with you your aesthetic goals and the details of the surgery and recovery.It is difficult to say what you had a child, but you may have had a PDA that eventually closed after you were born, and a cardiologist can evaluate you and your heart prior to any elective surgery if needed. Please see my photos and website for a very similar story and patient who did excellent with surgery and results. Best Wishes :)

Benjamin J. Cousins MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Benjamin J. Cousins, MD
Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.