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Short-Term Complications Common with Breast Implants

Nearly one-third of women with breast implants after mastectomy develop at least one complication

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have breast implants after mastectomy often develop short-term complications requiring surgery, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Trine F. Henriksen, M.D., of the Danish Registry for Plastic Surgery of the Breast, and colleagues studied data on short-term complications in 574 Danish women who underwent postmastectomy reconstruction with breast implants between June 1, 1999 and July 24, 2003.

Almost one-third (31%) of the women developed at least one complication, the report indicates. Forty-nine percent of the adverse events happened within three months of implantation and 67% occurred within six months. Twenty-one percent of the women required additional surgery after implantation, most often due to capsular contracture, asymmetry, or displacement of the implant, the researchers found.

In addition, 36% of women who underwent implantation later on experienced at least one complication, and 21% had additional surgery, the authors report.

"Women who undergo postmastectomy breast implantation frequently experience short-term local complications," the researchers conclude. "Surgical or medical intervention is commonly required during the reconstructive course, but reconstruction failure (loss of implant) is rare."

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