While in the past there may have been skepticism regarding the safety of silicone breast implants, clinical trials research supports the safety of silicone implant use in breast augmentation. Even though there is no direct associated risk of having silicone implants, women need to be aware of the precautions necessary to ensure their continued safety.

There is a possibility that implants may break or rupture as a result of trauma, surgical error, or a mammogram. In order to prevent rupture during a mammogram, it is important to advise your technician that you have implants to ensure that the correct pressure is exerted to avoid a rupture. In the case of a rupture, the implant needs to be surgically removed. With saline implants, a rupture can be quite obvious as the breast will deflate, but saline will cause no harm to the body. It can be more difficult to detect when a silicone implant ruptures and an MRI or an ultrasound may be required to determine if a rupture occurred. Following the insertion of silicone implants, regular visits to your plastic surgeon may be required to ensure the implants continue to function correctly and have not ruptured. The FDA recommends that after three years of having the implants placed that a MRI screening should occur with follow ups every year and a half afterwards.

In addition to the possibility of implant rupture, capsular contracture is another possibility to keep an eye out for. Once an implant is placed, a capsule begins to form around it as a natural bodily response. The capsule may tighten and cause the implant to appear misshapen, look hard or distorted. This may require surgical removal of the capsule.

Breast implants are a wonderful option to achieve your desired aesthetic results or to reconstruct following mastectomy. Similarly to almost any other medical procedure, there are risks involved and being aware of what they are and how to address them is important in guaranteeing your best aesthetic and functional outcome!

For more information on breast augmentation, please contact board-certified cosmetic surgeon Dr. John Kim at his office at Northwestern Plastic Surgery (312-695-6022).