Breast Enlargement Surgery: What are the Risks?

The idea of having larger and more attractive breasts is very appealing to a lot of women.

Not surprisingly many of these women look into breast enlargement or breast augmentation surgery. Unfortunately this surgery is not without its risks which include:

  • The possibility of something going wrong with anesthetics. Unlike other kinds of cosmetic surgery, breast implantation is an invasive surgery. A woman will have to go to the hospital and be knocked to undergo it. This is a risky kind of surgery.
  • Breast implants do leak. In 1982, silicone gel breast implants were banned in the United States because they were thought to be harmful. Saline breast plants which are also widely used have been known to leak.
  • Women can not afford it. Breast implants will usually cost several thousand dollars.
  • Health insurance policies will only cover reconstructive breast surgery after an accident or cancer. Insurance will not cover cosmetic procedures like breast implants.
  • Health insurance policies may not cover the side effects of breast enlargement surgery. For example some policies won’t pay for conditions related to silicone gel implants.
  • A woman who undergoes the surgery may have to take time off from work. This could be several days or longer depending on how long it takes to recover from the surgery.
  • There are many other potential risks to surgery. These include infection; dangerous bacteria found in hospitals are getting stronger and deadlier. It is now estimated as many as one in ten of the people that spend time in a hospital get sicker from the germs found there.
  • There is also the possibility that a botched surgery will leave scars on the breasts. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and other groups is constantly warning women about unlicensed and inexperienced surgeons.

Alternatives to Breast Augmentation Surgery

Fortunately there are breast enlargement alternatives that do not involvement these risks. None of these alternatives is as effective as the surgery but they are safer. Some of these alternatives include:

  • Herbal supplements and a natural breast enlargement cream like Naturaful or Brestrogen that can promote breast growth.
  • Exercises.
  • Massage.
  • Changing to a diet rich in foods that encourage the production of human growth hormone in the body.

These alternatives have none of the risks or costs associated with breast surgery. Women should definitely look into these methods before considering breast surgery.

Health Scares of Breast Implants

The two main types of filler used in breast implants are either silicone gel, which has been tighter regulated historically due to health scares, or saline.

When silicone gel filled breast implants were first marketed back in the 1960’s, they were unregulated and not considered a threat to health. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s challenges were made claiming silicone gel responsible for numerous detrimental side effects on health.

In 1991 the FDA mandated new regulation requiring manufacturers of silicone gel filled breast implants to submit pre-market approval applications (PMAs), presenting data supporting reasonable safety of the product for it to remain on the market.

By 1992 no PMA yet submitted provided sufficient data to grant approval of the medical product on grounds of safety. Over the next decade many women filed lawsuits blaming silicone gel filled breast implants responsible for various diseases such as connective tissue disorder, cancer, and neurological disease.

In the decade following the 1992 moratorium, the use of silicone breast implants were limited to controlled clinical trials, reconstructive surgery or for ruptured filler gel replacement. In the light of these restrictions, saline breast implants gained popularity and was the common adopted choice of implant for enlarging breasts cosmetically.

After data trials conducted on breast implant patients spanning over a decade, in 2006, the FDA lifted its restrictions on silicone gel filled breast implants for woman over the age of 22, and on the condition the manufacturer has carried out a 10 year study supporting reasonable safety of the product. There is however, as pointed out still risk of silent rupture and leakage, and so frequent MRI scanning is advisable.

In recent years a growing availability of non surgical alternative ways of enlarging breasts give women an opportunity to increase their breast size without having implants inserted.