Breast augmentation

This decade is seeing plastic surgery more popular than ever. Breast augmentation, for instance, experienced a 29% rise in surgeries last year. Breast augmentation is a surgery that uses breast implants or fat transfer to augment the breasts. It can enhance breast size, address asymmetry, restore volume loss caused by post-pregnancy or weight loss, and correct issues from a previous surgery. Whereas it leads to an increase in confidence, it comes with its fair share of risks. In this article, we’ll explore the types of breast augmentation surgeries and their side effects.

The Types of Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation comes in two primary forms: through breast implants or fat transfer augmentation. Within these categories, various options allow you to customize the appearance and feel of your breasts that are FDA-approved for your age group.

1.   Implants

Breast implant surgery is the most common type of breast augmentation. You can choose between five types of implants:

  1. Saline breast implants: These implants contain saline solution and are approved by the FDA for women aged 18 and older. Saline implant ruptures are uncommon but can result from factors like aging, overfilling, trauma, or defective implants. In case of a leak, they collapse, with the body naturally absorbing and expelling the saline. Signs of deflation include reduced size and firmness. While not dangerous, timely replacement is recommended to avoid complications like capsular contracture.
  2. Structured saline implants: These are also filled with saline and feature an inner structure for a more natural and sturdier feel.
  3. Silicone breast implants: Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel, and they offer a more natural feel. Leaks may not cause collapse, so they are not immediately noticeable and require regular check-ups. They have FDA approval for women aged 22 or older.
  4. Gummy bear breast implants: These are also called form-stable implants and maintain shape even when the shell is broken. The silicone gel is thicker, providing a firmer feel. Shaped variants may require correction if rotated.
  5. Round breast implants: These offer a fuller appearance and are less prone to rotation. Implants are soft, allowing natural movement, but may exhibit some rippling. Textured implants minimize movement, reducing the risk of tight scar capsules.

2.   Fat Transfer

In this procedure, your doctor takes fat from one part of the body and inserts it into the breasts. You can opt for this method if you are seeking a modest enhancement in breast size. Common donor areas for fat tissue include the belly, flanks (sides and lower back of the abdomen), back, and thighs.

Side Effects and Risks of Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast augmentation carries potential risks, such as the formation of scar tissue affecting implant shape (capsular contracture), breast pain, infection, altered nipple, and breast sensation, changes in implant position, and leakage or rupture. Addressing these issues may necessitate additional surgery for implant removal or replacement.

Another concern is breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a rare cancer linked to textured-surface implants. While the FDA acknowledges a slight risk increase, further research is required to understand the precise relationship between these implants and BIA-ALCL.

Systemic symptoms, often referred to as breast implant illness, may be associated with breast implants. Symptoms include fatigue, memory loss, skin rash, difficulty concentrating, and joint pain. Removal of implants could potentially alleviate these symptoms.

If you observe any post-surgical changes in your breasts, it’s crucial to consult your doctor. Regular follow-up visits and appropriate screening tests are essential for early detection and management of potential complications from breast augmentation surgery.


Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure among women and can be done through implants and fat transfer. However, it is crucial to be aware of the risks of breast augmentation, such as capsular contracture, infection, changes in sensation, and more. Monitoring changes, consulting a doctor, and regular screenings are vital for early detection and management of these complications.