Breast enlargement: risks

A breast enlargement is a major operation: the breast is enlarged by inserting silicone or water-filled implants. Recovery takes several weeks, but many women are very satisfied with the results. However, breast implants can also have disadvantages. They can tear or leak and in almost all women the implants start to sweat. What are the risks of breast prostheses?

Why a breast enlargement?

Many women want breast enlargement because they are dissatisfied with their breasts. Breasts give the typical feminine shape. When this is lacking, a woman can feel her dignity compromised. Some women are not left with beautiful breasts after breastfeeding. And yet other women have lost so much weight or exercise so much that there is little breast left. Breasts consist of fatty tissue, and anyone who loses a lot of fat also loses part of her breasts. Breast enlargement is different from breast reconstruction, which is often used for breast cancer after the entire breast has been removed.

Where do you have this done?

You have a breast enlargement performed by a certified doctor. This can be done in a hospital or in a private clinic. A well-known clinic is the Bergman clinic, which is known for their breast enlargements. Many women prefer to go to a private clinic. However, a private clinic must be in close contact with a hospital, so that the woman can be referred if any complications arise. The doctor who performs the breast enlargement must be BIG registered. A BIG registration is only possible for healthcare providers who are authorized. You can search for the doctor in question in the BIG register. The doctor is also a member of the Dutch Association for Plastic Surgery.

The operation

What can be expected from the procedure is discussed with the woman in advance. It is also discussed which cup size is possible. The operation is performed under general anesthesia. The prosthesis that is inserted consists of silicone or water. The prosthesis is inserted between the pectoralis major muscle and the rib cage or between the pectoralis major muscle and the mammary gland, but a combination can also be made. The doctor discusses the pros and cons of both options in advance. After the procedure, the woman will remain in the recovery room for some time. A drain is usually attached to both breasts to drain the wound fluid. This drain is removed as soon as wound fluid is no longer produced. The breasts may feel painful during the first few days. No lifting is allowed during the first few weeks. The scar from the operation is often located in the breast fold, areola or armpit and is therefore often not or barely visible.

Does silicone leak or sweat?

Nowadays, breast prostheses are subject to increasingly strict quality requirements, and leakage is virtually impossible. However, no complete answer can be given about this. Silicone breast implants almost all sweat, this is a common occurrence. This releases small amounts of silicone molecules that are absorbed by the body.
Although never scientifically proven, autoimmune diseases are more common in women with breast implants. Women who already have immune complaints are less able to tolerate silicone implants. The well-known PIP implants are twice as likely to rupture and leak than other implants. Although research shows that PIP implants are not toxic, they have made a number of women quite ill. In addition, a leaking implant must always be removed, which in turn entails additional costs. The PIP implants may no longer be used. The new implants are sturdier and more solid in shape, so they do not leak out in the event of cracks. But here too, a ruptured implant must be removed immediately.
A torn or leaking prosthesis is not always immediately noticeable. Pain may arise or the shape of the breast may suddenly change. The breast may also have suddenly become larger or the glands in the armpits may have swollen.

Capsule formation

Because implants are foreign to the body, the body will form a capsule around them to protect the body against the harmful intruder. With today’s implants, this only happens in 5 percent of cases. The chance used to be as high as 60 percent. capsular contracture can be recognized by a wrinkle in the implant. Many women also experience pain complaints. When capsular contracture occurs, the implant is usually removed and a new one inserted. Women who previously had capsular contracture have an increased risk of re-capsular contracture.

Breastfeeding and silicone

In most cases, a woman can breastfeed with silicone breast implants. The function of the breast is not affected. Only in some cases breastfeeding appears to be no longer possible. Every woman should take this into account before undergoing breast enlargement. However, the chance that breastfeeding will not work with breast implants is very small. With a breast reduction there is a greater chance that breastfeeding will not be successful.

Scroll to Top