Cosmetic surgery is becoming more and more common worldwide. Approximately, 80% of all cosmetic surgical procedures are undergone by women and the most common is breast augmentation.
The first breast implantation procedure was performed in Houston, Texas back in 1962. Today, approximately 1.7 million breast implantation procedures are performed worldwide every year.
People get breast implants for various reasons:
- Post-mastectomy reconstruction
- Congenital deformations.
- Uneven breast development
- Post-breastfeeding collapses
- Gender reassignment surgery
- For body image or self-esteem reasons
The majority of breast implants sold in the United States, are composed of a man-made polymer called elastomer, which is filled with 175 – 200cc of fluid. The fluid contained in 72% of breast implant in the US is silicone, and 28% contain a sterile saline solution (essentially medical grade saltwater).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of silicone in breasts implants from 1992 until 2006 due to concerns over the implants rupturing. But after this ban was lifted it quickly became the most popular choice of breast implant again.
How Breast Implants Are Performed
Breast implants can be inserted in a number of different ways:
- Through an incision under the areola, which limits scar tissue;
- Through an incision in the crease of the breast underneath, which is beneficial when the crease has to be moved anyway;
- Though the armpit, to avoid any breast scarring or damage overall; or even
- Through the navel where it is then moved up underneath the breast
Once in place, fluid is inserted into the implant, it is moved into its final position, and the surgery is complete. Of course, it takes time for the body to heal afterward and patients are required to undergo physical therapy throughout the healing process.
What Can Go Wrong With Breast Implants
The human body does not like having a foreign object inserted into it, so as the body heals from the breast implant procedure, the immune system will start to form scar tissue around the implant.
Nevertheless, if goes well, the breasts should look entirely natural postoperative. If all does not go well, capsular contracture may begin to develop. This is when the scar tissue that has developed around the implant begins to constrict and stiffen causing the implant to become misshapen and to look unnatural.
Other common side effects of breast implants include:
- Pain in the breasts
- Numbness in the nipples
- Neck pain
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain and
Furthermore, some studies indicate that saline implants can develop mold and bacteria, which can be released into the body if the implant ruptures for any reason.
What’s more, all breast implants leak, and when silicone is released into the body, it can get into the lymph nodes and increase the risk of the following conditions:
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Polymyositis, and
It is estimated that 35% of women who undergo breast implant surgery need to undergo another procedure within the following 2-3 years due to one of the above complications. These procedures come with their own sets of surgical and anesthesia risks.
Compensation For Breast Implant Complications
Breast implant manufacturers have a legal duty to present accurate studies and truthful information about the contents of their products and how they will interact with and harm our bodies. Doctors and Plastic Surgeons also have a duty to stay informed and to warn their patients of the risks involved in undergoing the procedures they perform.
If either the manufacturer or healthcare professional does not satisfactorily fulfill their duty to you, and you are harmed as a consequence, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against those responsible.
In fact, breast implant patients across the country are currently filing lawsuits against breast implant manufacturers alleging many of the side effect listed above, as well as, anaplastic large cell lymphoma which has recently been linked to certain types of breast implants.
If you or a loved one has experienced complication with a breast implant, contact an experienced breast implant attorney for a free consultation. You may be entitled to substantial compensation.