Reoperations after mammoplasty

Re-operations related to complications and problems with implants have emerged as a major issue with implants. Several studies indicate that women with breast implants are likely to undergo additional surgeries after implantation, in order to address complications or fix unacceptable cosmetic defects due to breast implants [54,55]. Complications and problems include a wide variety of issues, such as breast implant rupture, capsular contracture, infections, gel migration, chronic breast pain, changes in nipple sensation, hematoma, seroma, extrusions, and cosmetic irregularities. Repeated surgeries (re-operations) expose women to all the risks inherent to surgery and also demonstrate that problems with implants persist over a long period of time. The 1999 Institute of Medicine report on the safety of silicone implants stated the following on re-surgeries, due to breast implant rupture and other complications:

'In general, the frequency of reoperations and local complications is sufficient to be of concern to the committee and to justify the conclusion that this is the primary safety issue with silicone breast implants, and it is certainly sufficient to require very careful and thorough provision of the kind of information contained in this chapter to women considering breast implant surgery. The committee concludes that many of these risks continue to accumulate over the lifetime of a breast implant' [56].

In some cases, women may opt to have implants removed and not replaced, because of continuing painful complications and problems. There may be serious cosmetic consequences to this decision [57].

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