Necrosis After Breast Augmentation

Necrosis is local tissue death that occurs in groups of cells because of disease or injury. In the case of breast implants, the dead tissue forms around the implant. This can prevent healing of the wound and can require surgical correction. Sometimes, implant removal is necessary.

Necrosis can also leave large, permanent scars, and can also lead to extrusion of the implant.

Though necrosis is not a common breast augmentation complication, there are factors that increase your risk.

Risk factors for necrosis after breast augmentation:

  • chemotherapy and/or radiation
  • smoking
  • infection
  • excessive cold or heat therapy
  • use of steroids in the pocket

When to Call Your Doctor

If you notice a wound/incision opening back up, you should contact your surgeon immediately. Many surgeons will apply silver nitrate to the area, while others use different approaches.

Reviewed September 2016

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