Breast reconstruction with a breast implant carries the possibility of complications, including:
- Implant rupture or deflation
- Increased risk of future breast surgery to replace or remove the breast implant
- Changes in breast sensation
- Scar tissue that forms and compresses the implant and breast tissue into a hard, unnatural shape (capsular contracture)
Correcting any of these complications may require additional surgery. If you need adjuvant radiation therapy, you might not be an ideal candidate for breast implant reconstruction. Radiation therapy often leaves the skin and underlying tissue discolored or damaged. In such cases, doctors tend to recommend breast reconstruction with a tissue flap instead.
Feb. 15, 2014
- Breast reconstruction after mastectomy. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/moreinformation/breastreconstructionaftermastectomy/index. Accessed Aug. 13, 2013.
- Nahabedian M. Breast reconstruction in women with breast cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 13, 2013.
- Breast reconstruction: Helping you become whole again. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reconstruction.html. Accessed Aug. 18, 2013.
- FDA update on the safety of silicone gel-filled breast implants: Executive summary. US Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm259866.htm. Accessed Aug. 20, 2013.