Risks and limitations of pectoral implant surgery
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand the risks involved with pectoral implantation. An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit.
Risks and limitations
Bleeding from the cut tissues, leading to bruising and possible accumulations of blood under the skin, is unavoidable in any surgery. Complications are usually minor when a pectoral implant surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon.
Unlike female breast implant surgery, pectoral implants do not carry the risk of breaking and/or leaking. The silicone implant used for men is soft but solid (not filled with liquid).
In some cases, extensive bleeding and infection may occur. Such side effects are fairly uncommon. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
There is also a slight risk of implant displacement. If the implant moves or is not held in place correctly by the pectoral muscle, further surgery may be required. In extreme cases, the implant may need to be removed permanently.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following Dr. Zevon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
Remember that, while pectoral implants affect that way that your chest muscles look, they do not affect the function. Movement and activity should not be restricted or hindered after full recovery. On the other hand, the silicone implants in no way add strength or power to the existing muscles.
Cigarette smoking decreases blood flow to the skin and tissues, increasing the risk of poor healing, and skin sloughing, scabbing or crusting. Smoking may lead to permanent scarring as well.
You should discuss each of the following risks with Dr. Zevon to make sure you understand the risks, potential complications, and consequences of implantation.
It is possible, though unusual, to experience a bleeding episode during or after surgery. Should post-operative bleeding occur, it may require emergency treatment to drain accumulated blood (hematoma). Do not take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for 2 weeks before surgery, as this may increase the risk of bleeding.
Infection is unusual after this type of surgery. It may appear in the immediate post-operative period or at any time following the insertion of an implant. Sub-acute or chronic infections may be difficult to diagnose. Should an infection occur, treatment including antibiotics, possible removal of the implant, or additional surgery may be necessary. Infections with the presence of an implant are harder to treat than infections in normal body tissues. If an infection does not respond to antibiotics, the implant may have to be removed. After the infection is treated, a new implant can usually be reinserted. It is extremely rare that an infection would occur around an implant from a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body, however, prophylactic antibiotics may be considered for subsequent dental or other surgical procedures.
Change in nipple & skin sensation
Some change in nipple sensation is not unusual right after surgery. After several months, most patients have normal sensation. Partial or permanent loss of nipple and skin sensation may occur occasionally.
Excessive scarring is uncommon. In rare cases, abnormal scars may result. Scars may be unattractive and of different color than surrounding skin. Additional surgery may be needed to treat abnormal scarring after surgery.
Lack of adequate tissue coverage or infection may result in exposure and extrusion of the implant. Skin breakdown has been reported with the use of steroid drugs or after radiation therapy to breast tissue. If tissue breakdown occurs and the implant becomes exposed, implant removal may be necessary. Smoking may interfere with the healing process.
Displacement or migration of an implant may occur from its initial placement and can be accompanied by discomfort and/or distortion in shape. Difficult techniques of implant placement may increase the risk of displacement or migration. Additional surgery may be necessary to correct this problem.
Surface contamination of implants
Skin oil, lint from surgical drapes, or talc may become deposited on the surface of the implant at the time of insertion. The consequences of this are unknown.
Removal/replacement of implants
Future removal or replacement of implants and the surrounding scar tissue envelope involves a surgical procedure with risks and potential complications.
Calcium deposits can form in the scar tissue surrounding the implant and may cause pain, firmness, and be visible on x-ray. These deposits must be identified as different from calcium deposits that are a sign of cancer. Should this occur, additional surgery might be necessary to remove and examine calcifications.
Fluid may accumulate around the implant following surgery, trauma or vigorous exercise. Additional treatment may be necessary to drain fluid accumulation around implants.
Thrombosed veins, which resemble cords, occasionally develop in the area of the implant and resolve without medical or surgical treatment.
You may be disappointed with the results of surgery. Asymmetry in implant placement, shape and size may occur after surgery. Unsatisfactory surgical scar location or displacement may occur. Pain may occur following surgery. It may be necessary to perform additional surgery to improve your results.
Both local and general anesthesia involve risk. There is the possibility of complications, injury, and even death from all forms of surgical anesthesia or sedation.
In rare cases, local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations have been reported. More serious systemic reactions may result from drugs used during surgery and prescription medicines. Allergic reactions may require additional treatment.
Most health insurance companies exclude coverage for cosmetic surgical operations such as pectoral augmentation and any complications that might occur from surgery. Please carefully review your health insurance subscriber information pamphlet.
Additional surgery may be necessary
Should complications occur, additional surgery or other treatments might be necessary. Even though risks and complications occur infrequently, the risks cited are particularly associated with pectoral augmentation; other complications and risks can occur but are even less common. The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee or warranty expressed or implied on the results that may be obtained.