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Breast Implant Regrets

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Do women who take the plunge and get breast implants have regrets? Yes, some do.

The majority of patients who choose beast augmentation surgery report feeling satisfied, pleased, thrilled or even overjoyed with their results. But, there are those whose experience isn’t as wonderful.

What causes some women to wish they had not opted for breast enhancement surgery? And what can they do about it?


A small percentage of patients suffer complications from the procedure itself, such as nausea from the anesthesia, excessive bleeding, infection, etc. Some people’s post-op pain is greater and/or longer lasting than anticipated. Fortunately, most of these situations resolve themselves or can be taken care of quickly by the plastic surgeon. Many women who experience an immediate setback go on to love their new figures.


The leading complication specific to breast implant surgery is the hardening of the scar tissue around the implant called “capsular contracture.” There’s a range of degrees of contracture, called the Baker scale, with four categories. Baker I is no contracture, characterized by soft, natural-feeling breasts. Baker IV means the scar tissue has shrunk so much that the breasts are misshapen, hard and even painful.

There are a variety of ways to deal with capsular contracture, depending on the severity and patient preferences. Scar tissue can be surgically released, removed or a combination of both approaches can be used. In extreme cases, implants are sometimes removed and replaced at a later time or removed altogether.

There are other possible breast augmentation complications, like synmastia (also called “breadloafing” and “unibreast”) and “bottoming out,” sometimes called “double bubble.” A prospective patient may want to be aware of these potential complications, but they are relatively rare.


It’s very possible that more breast augmentation revision surgery is performed to modify size, than for any other reason. It’s naturally very difficult for the prospective patient herself to know what size and shape implant she should choose to gain the look she wants. Many women tend to veer on the conservative side, with some returning for larger implants later.

It’s completely understandable that women tend to be afraid to go too big. No one wants to look unnatural or overweight, and few women want to attract undue attention to their bust. Not only that, but when patients see implants outside the body they tend to seem, well, “big.”

The advice post-procedure women prospective patients is to choose an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon who really listens. Many recommend telling and showing them what you want to look like. That means you don’t tell them what size implant you think you need. You trust their expertise in evaluating your individual body frame and choosing the size implant that will deliver the desired effect.


Some women do decide that their implants are too big, though this usually happens over a period of years. Implants that bring a woman up to a size D, DD, or above, may seem like a good idea to a patient who’s young and firm, with supple, elastic skin. Later on, the woman who decided to "go big" may wish she had not gone quite so big.

Just like women with very large natural breasts, women with very large augmented breasts may voice a variety of complaints. These range from weariness over unwanted comments on the street to physical discomfort. They may also bemoan a prematurely saggy look as, over time, skin loses the ability to support large breasts in their formerly perky profile. Obviously this happens to all of us, but some women with large implants regret that they added extra weight to the natural aging equation of gravity and tired skin.

Some women who decide their implants are too large choose revision surgery. Plastic surgeons will often recommend a combination procedure that replaces the implants with smaller models and lifts the breasts (removing extra skin) at the same time.


Most patients will agree…the best ways to increase your chances of satisfaction with breast augmentation surgery involve becoming fully informed. You should first do research on the Web. Take the time to browse plastic surgeons’ Web sites, forums where women answer each other's questions and share their experiences, and other informational sites. At first it may feel like you’re taking in a lot of random information, but over time, patterns will emerge and certain snippets of input will resonate.

Then, visit at least three board certified plastic surgeons with lots and lots of breast augmentation experience. Consult physicians who offer both silicone and saline breast implants, and those who have photo galleries on the Web that show they customize surgery to fit each individual patient.

Choose to work with the surgeon who makes you feel like an equal partner in the decision making process. That’s the way to give you the best chance to be delighted with your new figure!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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