Breast Enhancement for Gender Affirmation risks and complications
What are the main risks of a breast enlargement?
As with any surgical procedure, a breast enlargement carries some potential risks and complications. These may occur during or after the operation. It is important that you are aware of these in order to make a fully informed decision before you go ahead with surgery. Your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon will talk you through the gender reassignment male to female risks and complications. The gender reassignment male to female risks can include, but are not limited, to the following:
Capsular contracture is the most common long-term complication associated with breast implants. This occurs when your body creates a layer of scar tissue called a “capsule” around the breast implants. This scar tissue has a tendency to contract. The degree of contraction varies greatly from patient to patient. For some, this may result in a hard or painful feeling in the breasts.
As your surgeon will have to make an incision for this, scarring is unavoidable. Cosmetic surgeons aim to hide scars as much as possible and for most patients scarring is mild and fades over time.
Bleeding & bruising
Bleeding and bruising is common after this type of operation. In most cases, this is only mild, however it can become quite significant. If you begin to experience any sort of bleeding or bruising that concerns you, you should notify your surgeon straight away. Adhering to your surgeon’s advice regarding medication will reduce the risk of bleeding.
If you develop an infection after surgery, it is important to take this seriously. Often, infections are minor, allowing your surgeon to treat it easily with antibiotics. If this is left untreated however, it can spread and become very serious. It is therefore vital that you notify your surgeon if you notice any of the following:
- A temperature over 38 degrees
- Redness or swelling that is moving away from the incision site
- Foul-smelling discharge coming from the drains or incisions
- An increasing amount of pain or discomfort that does not go away after taking painkillers
Changes in sensation
It is quite common to experience some changes in sensation after surgery. These changes can include:
- An increase in sensitivity
- Pins and needles
Changes in sensation can occur if your surgeon damages a nerve during surgery. If any of the above occur, they are often temporary but they may take a while to subside. In some rare cases however, the changes may become permanent.
You should always keep in mind that you may be unhappy with your final results. You may not be happy with the final size, shape or symmetry of your breasts. This is the main reason why it is vital that you clearly communicate what you want to achieve to your surgeon, who will then tell you if what you want is achievable or not. In order to give yourself the best chance of being happy with your final result as possible, you should choose a highly-experienced and qualified BAAPS or BAPRAS surgeon.
The most common long-term complication of breast implants is capsular contracture. This occurs when a fibrous scar shell, or capsule, forms around the implant once it’s inside the breast. This capsule has a tendency to contract, which can lead to the breasts feeling very hard and painful.
A rupture occurs when the shell of the implant is split open or broken, leading to the contents of the implant leaking out. This may occur due to direct injury to the breasts, or damage to the implant itself before your surgeon inserts them into the breast. If a rupture occurs, you must have the implant removed or replaced.
Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma is a rare type of cancer that is associated with breast implants. This association is still in the early stages of research. It is however important to be aware that this is a risk. Your surgeon will be able to discuss this in greater detail with you during your consultation.
Implant specific complications
There are a few more complications that can occur with breast implants. These include:
You can find more information on these complications here.
Make sure you read through and understand all the gender reassignment male to female risks and complications before you consent to having surgery.