Although the breast enhancement procedure is now highly medically advanced, it is still possible for complications to occur both during and after surgery. In some cases, such as that of hardened breast implants, further care will be required. Indeed, it is possible that the implant itself will have to be removed again.
Hardened Breast Implants and Other Complications
Time is one of the things that contributes to whether or not a breast implant needs to be replaced. A breast implant is not designed to last a lifetime. In fact, according to the FDA, around 20% of breast implants have a shelf life of just eight to ten years. When a breast implant reaches the end of its life, it is quite common for some smaller problems to start to develop. For instance, many women will experience some hardness and slight discomfort. However, it is also possible for these problems to become major, including disfigurement and tremendous pain.
It is a very important for those who have had a breast implants to be aware of their implants and to know their own body. Many women who have had an augmentation will, at some point, have to have their implants removed or replaced. In rare cases, this is because the original art procedure was botched. Other causes include that the body rejects the implant or that the implant ruptures, for instance.
The hardened breast implant is perhaps the most common complication of all. This is known as a capsular contracture. Surgeons agree that the sooner a woman receives treatment for hardened implants, the better it is. In fact, if the contractor is not treated, it will get worse. A contracture is caused when the body creates scar tissue as a response to the foreign substance of the implant itself. This means the implant can no longer move that becomes fixed into place. This can be painful and also creates a disfigured and unnatural look. Contractures go through four grades of appearance. Those are:
- Grade I, whereby the implant is still flexible and the breast is normal in appearance.
- Grade II, whereby the breast remains normal in appearance but starts to feel hard to the touch.
- Grade III, whereby the breast starts to look at normal because of the distortion of the contracture. Tissue feels hard to the touch.
- Grade IV, which is similar to grade III but the hardening is even stronger.
It is not entirely clear why some women experience hardened breast implants and others don’t. Indeed, it is common for women to have a contracture in one breast only, something that has baffled position for many years. However, regardless of cause, the contracture will only become worse unless it is treated as soon as possible. Hence, women who start to feel hardening or discomfort should speak to their physician as soon as possible to discuss the issue and find the best solution. The earlier treatment is sought, the easier it is to resolve the problem.