Whether placed for cosmetic breast augmentation or for breast reconstruction, implants can cause significant problems and complications. A recent report from the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that:
Major problems with implants, though not generally not life threatening include ruptures, deflations, capsular contracture, infection, pain and the need to undergo implant removal.
According to the FDA, “It is likely that you will need to have one or more reoperations over the course of your life because of local complications from breast implants.”
The FDA has several excellent publications on their website highlighting the more common problems that occur in the breast or chest area following implant placement as well as photographs of implant complications
The failure of a breast reconstruction and the consequences of complications associated with cosmetic breast augmentation can be devastating. Fortunately, replacing implants with your own tissue can be an excellent option for women who no longer wish to live with implants or who have already had an implant removed. Perforator flaps can be used to replace an implant with your own living tissue, and this tissue and the breast reconstructed with it are yours for life. Many women who have had discomfort with their breast implants report significant reduction in breast pain, and even the elimination of breast pain altogether, after their implants have been removed and replaced with natural tissue. When your own tissue is used to replace an implant, there is no chance of a leak or rupture, and since your body is not reacting to a foreign material, capsular contracture is not a problem.