Advertisement

What are the risks of getting breast implants after breast cancer?

Nathaniel L. Holzman, MD
Plastic Surgery
The risks of getting breast implants after breast cancer typically include failure of the implant, infection of the implant, and breakdown of overlying skin. While these are rare, we always discuss them with patients so they understand the long-term risks. In addition, other therapies like radiation can have risks such as capsular contracture, where capsules around the implants become hard and painful. Change in shape can also occur. That's why we always follow patients long-term to monitor not only the chance of recurring cancer but also changes in implants. I like to tell my patients that implants can be a good choice for reconstruction, but they’re not lifelong devices.
 
Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

The risk of getting either recurrent breast cancer or autoimmune disease is very unlikely after reconstruction with implants. In November 2006, the FDA reapproved Silicone gel implants for both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery patients over the age of 22. Patients with silicone gel implants should have a MRI at least every 3 years. There is No increased risk of silicone gel implants causing breast cancer. Extracapsular rupture of the silicone may however cause migration to the axillary lymph nodes and other lymphatic structures throughout the body. 

Breast implants will not lead to an increased risk of cancer recurrence, and they are not dangerous after having a cancer operation. The FDA issued a report recently which did not show any relationship between implants and connective tissue disease. The report did state that implants placed for cosmetic purposes have a 20-30% chance of rupture at 10yrs and implants placed for cancer operations have a 40-50% chance of rupture at 10 yrs. There are no reports stating that implants increase the risk of recurrence.

Continue Learning about Breast Augmentation

How should I decide the shape of implant?
Stuart A. Linder, MDStuart A. Linder, MD
The shape of the implants come in anatomical and round shapes. In my practice, I personally do not u...
More Answers
Are breast implants placed under or over the pectoralis muscle?
Arthur W. Perry, MDArthur W. Perry, MD
The breast implant can be placed under or over the pectoralis muscle. The space made for the imp...
More Answers
How Can I Prepare Myself for Breast Augmentation Surgery?
How Can I Prepare Myself for Breast Augmentation Surgery?
Will Insurance Cover Any Part of Breast Augmentation Surgery Costs?
Will Insurance Cover Any Part of Breast Augmentation Surgery Costs?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.