What are the disadvantages of breast implants?

Breast implants are a popular cosmetic surgery procedure that involves inserting saline or silicone implants to increase the size of a woman’s breasts. While many women opt for this surgery to enhance their appearance and self-confidence, there are some significant disadvantages to consider.

First introduced in the 1960s, breast implants have undergone significant advancements in technology and safety measures. However, there are still risks associated with the procedure, including the potential for capsular contracture, implant rupture, and changes in breast sensation. In fact, a study published in JAMA Surgery found that up to 20% of women who undergo breast augmentation surgery may require additional surgeries to address complications.

One of the most common concerns with breast implants is the risk of developing a condition known as breast implant illness (BII). Symptoms of BII can include fatigue, joint pain, and cognitive difficulties, and while the exact cause of this condition is still unknown, many women have reported improvements in their health after having their implants removed.

In addition to the physical risks associated with breast implants, there are also emotional and psychological considerations to take into account. Some women may experience dissatisfaction with the results of their surgery, leading to feelings of regret or disappointment. It is important for anyone considering breast augmentation to carefully weigh the potential disadvantages before making a decision.

What Are the Disadvantages of Breast Implants?

There are several drawbacks to consider when thinking about getting breast implants. These may include the risk of complications such as infection, scarring, and changes in nipple sensation. Additionally, implants may need to be replaced or removed in the future, leading to additional surgeries and costs. In some cases, breast implants can also interfere with breastfeeding or mammograms. To learn more about the disadvantages of breast implants and how to make an informed decision, continue reading below.

See also  Will breast implants sag after breastfeeding?

Increased risk of complications

One of the main disadvantages of breast implants is the increased risk of complications. These can include infection, bleeding, and changes in sensation in the breasts and nipples. In some cases, the implants may also rupture or leak, leading to further issues that may require surgical intervention.

Capsular contracture

Capsular contracture is a common complication that can occur after breast implant surgery. This happens when the scar tissue that forms around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant, causing the breast to feel hard and look misshapen. Severe cases may require additional surgery to correct the issue.

Changes in breast sensation

Another disadvantage of breast implants is the potential for changes in breast sensation. Some women may experience decreased sensitivity in their breasts and nipples, while others may have increased sensitivity or pain. These changes can be temporary or permanent, depending on the individual.

Implant rupture and leakage

Implant rupture and leakage can occur with both saline and silicone implants. If a saline implant ruptures, the saline solution will be harmlessly absorbed by the body. However, if a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone gel may leak into the surrounding tissue, leading to inflammation and potential health risks. Regular monitoring and potential replacement of silicone implants may be necessary.

Cost of maintenance and potential future surgeries

It’s important to consider the long-term costs associated with breast implants. Regular maintenance, such as monitoring for complications and potential future surgeries to address issues like implant rupture or capsular contracture, can add up over time. Additionally, implants are not considered lifetime devices, and they may need to be replaced every 10-15 years.

Overall satisfaction and psychological impact

While many women are satisfied with their breast implants, some may experience dissatisfaction with the results or have unrealistic expectations. This can lead to psychological distress and body image issues. It’s important to carefully consider the potential psychological impact of breast implants before undergoing surgery.

See also  What is the meaning of breast enhancement?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, approximately 300,000 women in the United States underwent breast augmentation surgery in 2019.

1. Are breast implants safe?

While breast implants are generally considered safe, there are possible risks and complications associated with the procedure, such as infection, scarring, and implant rupture. It is important to discuss these risks with your surgeon before undergoing surgery.

2. Do breast implants affect breastfeeding?

Depending on the type of implant and surgical technique used, some women may experience difficulties with breastfeeding after getting breast implants. It is recommended to discuss this concern with your surgeon before undergoing surgery.

3. What are the long-term effects of having breast implants?

Some long-term effects of breast implants may include implant ruptures, changes in breast shape or size, scar tissue formation (capsular contracture), and the need for additional surgeries to address complications. It is important to have regular check-ups with your surgeon to monitor the condition of your implants.

4. Can breast implants cause health problems?

While rare, breast implants have been associated with certain health problems such as implant-related cancer (ALCL), breast pain, and autoimmune disorders. It is important to discuss any concerns with your surgeon and monitor your breast health closely after getting implants.

5. Do breast implants need to be replaced over time?

While breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, they do not necessarily need to be replaced unless there are complications such as implant rupture or capsular contracture. It is important to follow up with your surgeon regularly to monitor the condition of your implants.

6. Can breast implants affect mammogram results?

Yes, breast implants can make it more difficult to interpret mammogram results, potentially leading to false positives or negatives. It is important to inform the radiologist about your implants before getting a mammogram to ensure an accurate reading.

See also  How long do you have to stop breastfeeding before breast augmentation?

7. Do breast implants increase the risk of cancer?

While breast implants themselves do not increase the risk of breast cancer, they can make it more difficult to detect cancerous changes in the breast tissue during routine screenings. It is important to continue with regular breast exams and mammograms after getting implants.

8. Can breast implants affect sensation in the breasts?

Some women may experience changes in sensation in their breasts after getting implants, such as numbness or hypersensitivity. These changes are usually temporary, but in some cases, they can be permanent. It is important to discuss this concern with your surgeon before undergoing surgery.

9. Are there any age restrictions for getting breast implants?

While there are no specific age restrictions for getting breast implants, it is recommended to wait until the breasts have fully developed before undergoing surgery. Additionally, older women may face higher risks of complications from surgery due to changes in skin elasticity and healing abilities.

10. Can breast implants cause emotional or psychological issues?

Some women may experience emotional or psychological issues after getting breast implants, such as body image dissatisfaction, anxiety, or depression. It is important to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of surgery and to seek support if needed to address any concerns or negative feelings.


In conclusion, the disadvantages of breast implants are varied and important to consider before undergoing surgery. Complications such as capsular contracture, rupturing of implants, and changes in breast sensation can all potentially arise post-surgery, leading to further medical interventions and discomfort for the individual. In addition, the long-term impact of breast implants on health, including the potential association with autoimmune disorders and breast implant illness, is a cause for concern. Furthermore, the financial costs associated with initial surgery as well as potential future revisions or removals can also be significant drawbacks for individuals considering breast augmentation.

It is essential for individuals considering breast implants to thoroughly research and understand the potential risks and drawbacks associated with the procedure. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon, discussing expectations and concerns, and carefully weighing the benefits against the disadvantages is crucial in making an informed decision. Ultimately, while breast implants can provide a boost in self-confidence and body image for many individuals, it is important to be aware of and prepared for the potential disadvantages and risks that come with this type of surgery.