complications, risk of breast augmentation

9:51 PM

Let’s look into something that you do not want to think about, but cannot completely say for sure that you can avoid it, that is side effects of breast augmentation surgery.
Before we start, let’s see if the term “side effects” is an appropriate word to use or not.

Side effect is a term used when something unexpected happens to the body due to some medication. The term ‘Adverse effect’ is also used.
But medically, we do not use the terms ‘side effect’ or ‘adverse effect’ for something that happens after a surgery.
What if your hair starts to grow after you start taking medication for high blood pressure? This is not a bad thing for you. Actually, it’s something better. It’s a side effect that you can be thankful for.
People think positively about such side effect. However, this is still a side effect. This is the reason why the term is not appropriate.
The word “complication” is the medical term used for something that unexpectedly happens to you after a surgery.
The problem is that there isn’t an appropriate Korean word for ‘complication’. Complication, for example, is when you suffer from retinopathies and another problem is added to it. It is not used for situations where you get double eyelid correction surgery but your eyes end up in original form, i.e. not double eyelid.
So, I will just use the term, ‘problems after the surgery’ although this covers a broad range of things.

Complications or problems that may be caused after breast surgery are,

1) Contracture
2) Can feel the implant
3) Visible ridges / Rippling
4) Implant moving / rotating
5) Implant collapse
These are the common complication. Today, I would like to look into these complications.

1. Contracture

This is one of the representative problems caused after breast augmentation surgery. It is different from one person to another, but contracture is caused mostly within 1 year of the breast surgery.

This is why, I check on my breast augmentation patients after 6 months and a year.
If the patient is found to have 1~2 stage contracture, then I talk with her and find out how bad it can get. If I find that it can’t get better, the solution is to conduct a simple procedure from the inframammary fold opening up the epithelium and making is a little larger.

If the patient is in 3~4 stage, then the patient and I plan on the revision. The epithelium is removed, at times completely, or one can change the location of the implant.

2. Can feel the implant 

It is possible to know whether one can feel the implant or not before it actually happens. This happens to almost everyone who is thin or have small original breasts. If you are fat or have large breasts, it would be difficult to touch and feel the implant.
If this case is bad and you want an improvement on it, fat transplantation is conducted on the parts where you can feel the implant.
The revision would be done with a smaller sized implant or artificial skin tissue can be sued to cover up the area.

3. Visible ridges / Rippling 

This happens because of the same reasons in the second case. It happens a lot to those patients who do not have much fat. Rippling happens when the breast is not filled completely and the implant wrinkles making it visible. Fat transplantation, replacement, or artificial skin tissue cover can be used.

4. Implant moving / rotating

Implant can move up, down, left or right. Also, anatomical implant can rotate clock-wise or anti-clock-wise. Small movement can be fixed with the correction bra but if there is contracture and a severe case of implant movement, then revision is necessary along with opening up the epithelium on the opposite side of the movement, finding a new location. This applies the same for the rotation. It is important to match the size of the pocket with the size of the implant so that there is no movement.

5. Implant collapse 

All the imported implants in our country are manufactured by multinational companies therefore you can be sure that all the products have life time warranty. If the implant is collapsed or damaged, you can get a replacement surgery. (This is very rare for cohesive gel implant, especially, the anatomical type)

If something unexpected happens to your breast, you might get into a panic mode. Whatever happens is not visible therefore, you cannot know what kind you situation you are in, and how to solve the problem. If you do not take any actions, but contemplate on it with the doctor for too long, you might get into a conflict with the hospital.
The problems that you might face after the breast augmentation can be divided into three groups.

First is the error or accident caused by the hospital. Some examples are paralysis after spine disk surgery or lose of sight after LASIK eye surgery.

Second is the problem caused without the error from the hospital. Getting into an auto accident after the breast augmentation can lead to opening up of the wound. Stitching up your head due to an accident, and you do not get good score on the tests.
Third is when you are not sure if the hospital is at fault or not.
There is one principle that applies to all three cases. Who is responsible for the problem caused after the surgery?

If it is clear that the supplier (i.e hospital) is at fault, then the hospital takes care of the related costs.
If the supplier is not at fault (i.e the patient is at fault or changes mind or does not follow directions given) then the patient covers the cost.
If it is difficult to determine whether the supplier is at fault or not (about 90% of all cases fall into this category), the some part of the cost is covered by the hospital and the rest by the patient.

Cases such as illegal or wrongfully done medical activity by the doctor, doctor being unaware of the patient condition, miscommunication within the hospital, missing the after surgery care are all part of the fault done by the hospital.
Cases such as misunderstanding or lack of understanding by the patient, simple change of mind, carelessness, lack to attention to guideline provided, accidents caused after the surgery are some of the faults caused by the patients.
However, it is difficult to know such clear conditions in all the problems. There are many variables involved and therefore, the supplier and the customer need to come into a conclusion.

Today, we looked at the complications (problems) that may be caused after a surgery, especially a breast cosmetic surgery. This is all for today.

Thank you very much. Have a great day.

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