Risk Of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome With Breast Augmentation?

I've read a few articles where it said one of the side effects of breast implantation is thoracic outlet syndrome. Is there a way to avoid this? Why would someone develop TOS when others don't?

Doctor Answers 12

Risk of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome With Implants?

No there is no risk what-so-ever even with 1000 cc implants. BUT if you have TOS before surgery, you will still have it after surgery and it may be a little worse. I have placed over 30,000 implants in every size up to 3500 cc each, over a 40 year period, without seeing TOS even once.

Dr Foster  Lake Tahoe Plastic Surgery

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Risks of breast augmentation

I don't think that having breast implants can create thoracis outlet syndrome; however, there may be some reports of individuals who are prone to TOS that get exacerbated from having their arm positioned outward during the procedure of breast augmentation itself.

Any flareup of TOS should be self-limited and resolve in time with physical therapy.

I hope this clarifies.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

If a patient has thoracic outlet syndrome, the arm positioning during the procedure may exacerbate the symptoms for a period of time, but this usually resolves spontaneously.  The placement of a breast implant does not affect the area of the thoracic outlet-it is a different anatomic site.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Complications of breast augmentation

i am not aware of TOS being reported from breast augmentation..  if there is a report it is extemely . it would be difficult for an augmentation to anatomically create  this syndrome.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome cannot be associated with a breast augmentation

Breast implants sit in front of the rib cage.  TOS is anatomically different.  The only possible way anyone could ever associate the two is if during a trans-axillary approach they went in the wrong direction (ie the opposite direction from where they should be going) and injured the nerves.  More likely whatever you found incorrectly associated TOS with upper extremity nerve problems from incorrect hand positioning during surgery that took way too long.
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews

Thoracic Outlet Synrome Is Not Related To Breast Augmentation

There is no scientific evidence or medical research that I am aware of that suggests that women with breast augmentation are at an increased risk for thoracic outlet syndrome. 

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Thoracic outlet syndrome with breast augmentation

I have not heard of this complication.  I would think it would be quite rare with the standard inframammary approach.  Donald R. Nunn Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Thoracic outlet syndrome and breast augmentation

I have never heard of any association between breast augmentation and thoracic outlet syndrome.  The thoracic outlet is located on the side of the neck, far upper chest, and towards the shoulder.  This area is bound by the first rib, clavicle, scapula, sternum and the cervical-thoracic spine.  The syndrome involves pain and other symptoms associated with compression of nerves (brachial plexus), arteries, or both in this region.  I cannot think of any anatomic basis for thoracic outlet syndrome as a consequence of breast augmentation.  In addition, I have never seen a case in our practice with over a 1000 augmentations completed.  I hope that this is helpful.  Good luck.

Eric T. Emerson, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome as a result of Breast Augmentation

Hi there-

I have never heard of a patient experiencing TOS symptoms as a result of Breast Augmentation, nor have I ever had a patient in my practice (many hundreds of breast augmentations) ever experience this.

I'm not sure where you read this....

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

Thank you for the question.

Thoracic outlet syndrome refers to a rare condition involving pain in the neck and shoulder,  numbness and tingling of the fingers and weak grip. The thoracic outlet is the area between the rib cage and the collarbone;  the symptoms involved with this syndrome are related to compression of nerves and blood vessels in the space between the rib cage and the collarbone.

I am not aware of thoracic outlet syndrome being a known complication of breast augmentation surgery. I would be interested in reviewing your source for this information. Generally speaking, breast implants are not placed in the vicinity of the area involved with the TOS;  therefore, it would be hard to explain how the implants can cause the symptomatology.

If you are able to follow up I would appreciate a reference to your information.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,484 reviews

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