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Exploring the Negative Side Effects of Breast Implants

Breast implants are a popular choice for people looking to increase their breast size. While the procedure is widely successful, it is essential to understand the potential risks and negative side effects involved, as with any surgical procedure.

At Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, we believe in empowering our clients with knowledge, so they can make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Here, we delve into the potential complications and long-term health concerns associated with breast implants, as well as discuss the importance of choosing the right surgeon and seeking legal support if something goes wrong.

The basics of breast implants

In the UK, breast implants come in two primary types: silicone implants and saline implants. Silicone implants contain a silicone gel, while saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater. Both types of implants are encased in a silicone shell. People may choose to undergo breast augmentation for cosmetic purposes or as part of a breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Common complications and risks of breast implant surgery

There are a number of risks that those looking to undergo breast implant surgery should be aware of. Before deciding to have the surgery, consider the following:

Capsular contracture

Capsular contracture is a condition in which the scar tissue that naturally forms around the breast implant tightens and squeezes the implant. This can cause the breast to feel hard, look misshapen, and be painful. Treatment options include medication, ultrasound therapy, or surgical removal of the scar tissue and implant.

Implant rupture or leakage

Implant rupture or leakage can occur due to damage to the implant shell, manufacturing defects, or normal wear and tear over time. It can be challenging to detect a rupture in silicone implants, as the gel often remains within the scar tissue capsule. Saline implant ruptures are usually more evident as the breast may deflate quickly. Treatment options may include removing and replacing the ruptured implant.


Infections are a risk with any surgery, including breast augmentation. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, and discharge at the incision site, as well as fever and chills. Treatment may involve antibiotics or, in more severe cases, removal of the implant.

Breast pain and discomfort

Some people experience breast pain and discomfort after breast augmentation. This may be temporary and improve over time, or it may persist and require further treatment.

Changes in nipple and breast sensation

Breast implants can affect the nerves in the breast tissue, potentially leading to changes in nipple and breast sensation. This can be temporary or permanent, and may include increased or decreased sensitivity.

Implant displacement or malposition

Implant displacement or malposition occurs when the implant shifts from its intended position. This can result in an undesirable appearance or discomfort. Surgical intervention may be necessary to correct the issue.

If you experience any of these side effects, speak to a trusted medical professional for advice as soon as possible. This may be your surgeon or GP. Leaving any of the above side effects untreated can have serious consequences for your health, and you should seek to secure your well-being before anything else.

Long-term health concerns

Breast surgery gone wrong is a slippery slope that can lead to serious issues later down the line if it is not addressed properly early on. What can be a minor issue can turn into something life-changing. However, even if the surgery is performed correctly, you may discover some complications later down the line.

Here, we explore some of the long-term impacts of breast implant surgery:

Breast Implant Illness (BII)

Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a term used to describe a range of symptoms that some people with breast implants experience. These may include fatigue, joint pain, memory issues, and autoimmune-like symptoms. The existence of BII remains controversial, and research is ongoing to better understand the relationship between breast implants and these symptoms.

Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)

ALCL is a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that has been associated with breast implants, particularly those with textured surfaces. Symptoms may include persistent swelling, pain, or a lump in the breast. Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and potentially removing the implant and surrounding tissue.

Additional long-term health risks

Some studies have suggested a potential link between breast implants and an increased risk of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, the psychological impact of breast implants should not be overlooked, as some people may experience anxiety, depression, or body image issues following the procedure.

Aesthetic complications

Beyond the health-threatening risks of breast implants, there are a number of aesthetic impacts that the surgery may have, regardless of whether it was successful or not. In many cases, people seek breast surgery to achieve a desired look. However, you may be disappointed to find that this look is unachievable, or that you are left with unwanted side-effects that impact it.

You should be wary of seeking breast augmentation or any cosmetic surgery with the goal of alleviating your insecurities, as this can fail to address the issues that you are trying to rectify, which may be mental rather than physical.

Rippling or wrinkling

Rippling or wrinkling of the implant can occur when the implant is visible through the skin, resulting in an uneven appearance. This is more common with saline implants and may require surgical intervention to correct.

Asymmetry or uneven appearance

Asymmetry or an uneven appearance can occur if the implants are not positioned correctly or if one implant settles differently than the other. In some cases, additional surgery may be necessary to correct the issue.


Scarring is an inevitable part of any surgical procedure, but the severity and visibility of scars can vary. Some people may develop hypertrophic or keloid scars, which are raised, thick, and more noticeable. Various treatments, including topical creams, silicone sheets, and steroid injections, can help reduce the appearance of scars

Dissatisfaction with results

Despite thorough consultations and careful surgical planning, some people may be dissatisfied with the results of their breast augmentation. In some cases, revision surgery may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome.

The importance of choosing the right surgeon

Selecting a qualified and experienced surgeon is essential for reducing the risk of complications and achieving satisfactory results. Look for a surgeon who is a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS); these organisations hold their members to a high standard, meaning they are less likely to make mistakes or neglect their responsibilities to their patients.

Conduct thorough research into their credentials, experience, and patient reviews, and engage in a comprehensive consultation process.

Legal support and your rights as a patient

If you experience complications or dissatisfaction as a result of your breast augmentation, you may be entitled to compensation for medical negligence. At Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, our team has extensive expertise in handling breast implant claims, and we are here to support you throughout the legal process.

By conducting thorough research and choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon, you can reduce the likelihood of complications and achieve the desired results.

Contact our expert breast augmentation solicitors today for legal advice on what to do if you have experienced complications with your surgery. Call us on 0808 273 6083, or fill out an online contact form and we will contact you at a time specified by you.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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