CosBeauty Magazine #85

bellamedia

CosBeauty is the #BeautyAddict's guide to lifestyle, health and beauty in Australia. In this issue: - The Breast Report - your guide to augmentation - Put an end to bad hair days - 24 hour makeup, products that last - Sex appeal - do you have it?

what are the risks?

feature

While breast augmentation is

typically a predictable procedure,

all surgery carries some level of

risk. Complications arising from

breast augmentation can include

the following.

CAPSULAR

CONTRACTURE

Capsular contracture, or hardening

of the breast, is thought to be the

most common complication of breast

implant surgery. It can occur at any

time but more commonly in the

months immediately after surgery.

During surgery, a pocket is made

for the implant in the breast tissue.

After the implant has been inserted,

the body naturally forms a capsule

of fibrous tissue around the implant.

This lining, or capsule, is formed by

the body’s living tissue, and is the

body’s natural response. The capsule

allows the implant to look and feel

quite natural. In some cases, however,

the capsule begins to tighten, causing

a shrink-wrap effect and squeezing the

implant that it surrounds. Depending

on the severity, the breast can feel

firm or hard, become distorted and

cause pain.

It is not actually the implant that

has hardened – the shrinking of

the capsule compresses the implant

and causes it to feel hard, but if the

implant is removed it is still in its

original soft state.

Though the exact causes of

capsular contracture are unknown,

there are factors that may lead to

this complication, including seroma

(the development of extra fluid

around the implant), haematoma,

infection and smoking. Another

contributing factor is the placement

of the implant above the chest

muscle. When the implant is

placed below the muscle, capsular

contracture is said to be typically less

likely to occur.

To treat capsular contracture, there

are both surgical and non-surgical

options, although generally most

cases of capsular contracture will

require secondary surgery to remove

the implant. If the implants are

replaced, to prevent reoccurrence a

new pocket should be made as fresh

tissue needs to be in contact with

the implant.

FURTHER SURGERY

It’s important to understand that

breast implants have a limited life

span and, before going ahead with

breast augmentation, patients must

accept that more surgery may be

required initially or in the future to

address complications, remove or

replace the implants.

Additionally, the size of the original

implants may become less suited to

a woman’s body over time, due to

hormones, pregnancies, weight gain

and menopause.

INFECTION

Infection is a serious risk of any

surgery and occurs when wounds

become contaminated with

microorganisms, such as bacteria

or fungi. When infection occurs, it

generally appears within six weeks

of the procedure. Most infections

can be treated with antibiotics,

but in the worst cases the implant

may need to be removed and the

infection eliminated before the

implant is replaced.

It’s important to keep an eye out for

signs of infection, which may include

redness at the site, fatigue and fever.

Increased pain and swelling are also

typical signs of infection but, because

these symptoms are typical of all

breast surgeries, they can be difficult

to detect.

RIPPLING

Rippling occurs when the filling

inside the breast implant moves,

creating a winkle or fold on the outer

shell of the implant which then

can be felt by the patient, or which

becomes outwardly visible. Rippling

can also occur when adhesion to the

envelope restricts its movement.

Various factors govern the

likelihood of rippling, including the

implant type, texture and position.

It occurs less with silicone gel-filled

implants, smooth-surfaced implants

and those that are positioned under

the chest muscle.

If it occurs, the appearance of

rippling is dependent on the patient

– their physique and the thickness

and quality of their skin. If there is

little muscle or fatty tissue to cover

the implant, any rippling that results

will be more noticeable. Rippling

generally appears on the outer and

bottom sides of the breast and in

the cleavage.

IMPLANT

DISPLACEMENT

Displacement refers to the implants

moving out of their desired position,

and is more prone in women who

have teardrop-shaped or very

high-profile implants. Displacement

may occur due to the implant being

misplaced in the tissue pocket, or

from excessively stretched tissue,

or trauma. Displacement can occur

at any time after the procedure,

and will generally need to be

surgically corrected.

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