Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibilityAre Breast Implants Safe? 2024 Expert Safety Guide

Are Breast Implants Safe? What You Should Know About Saline & Silicone Breast Implant Safety In 2024


    Are breast implants safe? Yes, breast implants are safe, and can make a big difference to someone’s body shape and confidence. 

    But as with any type of surgery, it’s important to consider the risks. If you are serious about breast augmentation, it’s a good idea to do your research and ensure you’re confident in your decision.

    At Burbank Plastic Surgery, we pride ourselves on delivering the best quality of care, and maintaining high safety standards to leave our clients with the treatment and results they deserve.

    Learn more about breast implants in our detailed article.

    The most popular cosmetic treatment in the world

    Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic treatment in the world, accounting for 17.6% of treatments. Over 17.3% of these are carried out in the United States, with 313,000 surgeries performed in 2018. Numbers have continued to grow, increasing by 48% since 2000. 

    In addition to breast augmentation, breast implants can be used for breast reconstruction following breast cancer surgery or an injury. It’s a treatment carried out every day, performed by surgeons with the skills to ensure successful and satisfactory surgery. 

    Breast implants are FDA-approved, and they are constantly being regulated and tested to ensure their continued safety. While there are some minor risks and complications involved with breast augmentation surgery, your surgeon will discuss these in detail with you to help you prepare for the procedure and to put your mind at ease.

    The Newest Warnings about Breast Implants in 2024

    In late February 2024, the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health released important updates about breast implants. They continuously monitor new risks and aim to keep patients and doctors well-informed.

    BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma) is a rare but serious condition linked to breast implants. Doctors can often treat it successfully if they catch it early. But it can become dangerous if left undetected and untreated.

    Textured breast implants, which have a rougher surface than smooth implants, pose a higher risk for BIA-ALCL. While the overall risk remains low, patients with textured implants face a greater chance of developing this condition.

    The FDA doesn’t recommend immediate removal of textured implants if you don’t have symptoms. Instead, they advise that you discuss the pros and cons of removal with your doctor to make the best decision for your health.

    Types of FDA approved breast implants - Silicone vs Saline

    There are two types of breast implants: silicone and saline. Both implants have been engineered and developed over time to provide safe implant options that help create a natural-looking feel and texture. 

    Silicone breast implants

    Silicone breast implants are designed to help create a natural feel and texture. The implants are filled with a silicone gel and are generally firmer than other types of implants. 

    Silicone breast implants are available to those aged 22 or over, and at any age for reconstruction purposes.

    Saline breast implants

    Meanwhile, saline breast implants, are implants that are filled with a saltwater solution. They are usually inserted empty, and are then filled to create the desired look and shape. 

    Saline implants are FDA-approved for those aged 18 or older.

    Both implant types have their own features, and they have both been approved as safe to use by the FDA. Your surgeon will be able to discuss both types of implants with you to help you find the most suitable option. This could depend on your body shape, your medical history, and your lifestyle. It’s important to ask questions about the different types of implants and their potential risks so that you’re fully informed before you make your choice. 

    Learn more about the differences between saline and silicone implants to help with your implant research.

    The benefits of breast implants

    Breast augmentation surgery carries the risks of any surgery, including infection or complications from anesthesia. However, these risks are carefully managed by the professionals performing the surgery. And while it’s important to understand the risks involved, it’s good to look at the benefits of breast implants to help you see the difference they could make to your life, such as:

    • Boost your confidence

    • Help you restore your breast’s shape and size after changes caused by aging, surgery, pregnancy or hormone changes. 

    • Help correct differences between breasts, such as asymmetrical shapes or different sizes.

    • Change the size of the breasts to your preferred size.

    Thinking about the benefits of breast implant surgery can help you ease some of your concerns around surgery. Reading some testimonials or exploring before and after images of surgery can help you conduct some additional research to help you feel more confident about your surgery.

    The importance of a surgeon you can trust

    Choosing the right surgeon for your breast implant surgery can help boost your confidence in the procedure and help you feel more at ease. It’s essential to choose a reputable surgeon who will give you a thorough consultation and carry out checks to make sure the surgery is right for you. A surgeon you can trust won’t try to sway you into having the procedure, and instead, they will detail all the risks and help manage your expectations about the results.

    Whether you’re having breast augmentation for the first time, or you’re having revision surgery, you should research your chosen surgeon and spend time finding the professional who’s the best fit for you. 

    What are the potential side effects and risks with breast implants?

    Breast implants are safe, and with the right surgeon performing the procedure, you should expect some fantastic results. 

    Most types of surgery come with some kind of side effects, and it’s important to be aware of some of the side effects you may experience during breast augmentation surgery, including:

    Pain or swelling in the breasts

    You’ll likely experience pain and swelling for a few weeks after breast surgery. But your surgeon will prescribe pain medicine to help keep the discomfort levels down. Swelling can last for up to six weeks but gradually subsides. Apply cold compresses and wear a supportive bra to help reduce swelling.


    Some redness around the incision sites is normal and part of the healing process. But if you notice spreading redness with warmth, it could indicate an infection. Monitor the redness closely and contact your surgeon if it worsens or spreads.


    A small amount of discharge from the incision sites is normal in the first few days after surgery. But if you notice thick, cloudy, or foul-smelling discharge, this could be a sign of infection. Report any unusual discharge to your surgeon immediately.


    A low-grade fever can occur in the first few days after surgery. This is often your body’s normal response to surgery. But if your temperature rises above 101.4°F or persists for more than a few days, contact your surgeon ASAP.

    Changes to your breast shape

    Initially, your breasts may look higher on your chest and feel firm. This is normal as the implants settle into position. Over the next few months, your breasts will gradually soften and settle into a more natural position. Consult your surgeon if you notice sudden changes in shape, size, or symmetry, especially on one side.


    While rare, some illnesses can happen after breast implant surgery:

    1. Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphona (BIA-ALCL): This is a rare immune system cancer type, more commonly associated with textured implants.

    2. Breast Implant Illness (BII): Some people report a range of symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, and cognitive issues, which they attribute to their implants. While not officially recognized as a medical condition, ongoing research is exploring this phenomenon.

    4. Autoimmune diseases: Some studies suggest a possible link between breast implants and certain autoimmune disorders — though more research is needed to confirm this connection.

    Most side effects will subside as you recover, but if you have any doubt at all or your symptoms become worse, you should contact your surgeon immediately. 

    Are there complications with breast implant surgery?

    Complications from breast implant surgery are rare, but it’s essential that you know what they are. Your surgeon will discuss the possible complications with you, but will reassure you about the procedure and how the risks are managed. 

    Some of the complications you need to be aware of include:


    Even though bleeding is rare, this is something that can happen after surgery. There may be bleeding around the implant, which can cause tightness and swelling. You will likely need further surgery to drain the blood if this happens.

    Adverse capsular contracture (Scar Tissue)

    One of the most common complications from breast implant surgery is adverse capsular contracture. While scar tissue is to be expected following surgery, if it starts becoming painful or feels noticeable, you should contact your surgeon to discuss. You may need further procedures to help remove some of the excess scar tissue. 


    Infection is another rare complication from breast implant surgery that you should be aware of. Some of the signs may include fever, redness, swelling and heat around the breast tissue, or a discharge. If you suspect an infection, don’t hesitate to contact your plastic surgeon for advice and to get some antibiotics that should help clear the infection in a few days.

    Change in sensation

    Some degree of change in the sensation of your breasts is to be expected, and usually subsides as you recover. However, there is a small risk of a complete change in sensation, which is something your plastic surgeon will discuss with you before the surgery.


    Pain and tenderness following a breast implant surgery are to be expected, but if you begin to notice severe pain following your recovery, you should contact your surgeon right away so they can investigate the cause.


    Implant rupture is another rare complication that can happen after breast augmentation surgery. This could happen any time after surgery, so it’s vital that you learn how to recognize the signs, which include: 

    • Pain or soreness

    • Swelling of the breast

    • Changes to the shape of your breast

    • A decrease in size

    • Lumps that appear hard

    • Ruptures in saline implants will be more noticeable, and your breast may look ‘deflated’. 

    Not all ruptures will be obvious, these are called ‘silent ruptures’, which is why it’s important to check your breasts regularly for any changes.

    If you suspect a rupture in your breast implant, contact your surgeon for an appointment. It’s important to remember that the substances used in breast implants are not toxic, and your surgeon will be able to replace your implant. 

    Breastfeeding and breast implants - is there a safety concern?

    Experts say breast implants are generally safe for breastfeeding moms and babies. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agree that silicone implants don’t harm babies or affect breast milk quality.

    However, some women with implants might have trouble making enough milk. This isn’t because of the implants themselves, but because the surgery can sometimes affect milk ducts or nerves in the breasts. If you’re planning to breastfeed in the future, talk to your surgeon about using techniques that are less likely to interfere with milk production. Alternatively, you can wait until after having children to get a breast augmentation.

    Is there a regret rate for breast augmentation?

    Yes, some people do regret getting breast implants, but most patients are satisfied with their results. While exact numbers for breast augmentation regret are hard to pin down, we can look at similar surgeries to get an idea.

    A study on breast reconstruction (which is different from augmentation but involves implants) found that about 47% of patients felt some level of regret. However, for most of these patients, the regret was mild. Only about 20% experienced moderate to strong regret.

    It’s also worth noting that regret can mean different things to different people. Some might have small doubts, while others might be truly unhappy. The key is to think carefully about your decision, have realistic expectations, and talk openly with your surgeon about your goals. This way, you're more likely to be happy with your results.

    Find the right surgeon for breast augmentation surgery

    Any type of cosmetic surgery carries risks, but finding the right surgeon for your breast augmentation surgery can reduce the risks and address any concerns or questions you may have about the surgery. 

    Cost can also be a factor for choosing your surgeon, and learning more about breast augmentation costs can help you work out the general cost.

    To help you find the right breast implant surgeon, you should:

    • Do your research to ensure you’ve found a reputable board-certified plastic surgeon. The internet will likely produce a lot of results for your search, so you’ll need to research the surgeon and the practice carefully to learn more about them.

    • Ask for recommendations from friends and family, they may be able to recommend someone they had a positive experience with, which can be reassuring for you too. 

    • Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions - it’s better to get the answers from an experienced surgeon instead of an unreliable source.

    • Check out testimonials from previous clients to help you get an idea of their experience.

    • Visit the facilities so you can see where you would have the surgery.

    • Book a consultation and use it as an opportunity to learn more about the surgeon so that you can feel more comfortable. 

    • Ask about the aftercare and follow-up processes to help ensure you’re in safe hands post-surgery. 

    A reputable cosmetic surgeon should have plenty of information about their practice and services online. At Burbank Plastic Surgery, we provide the highest-quality services that are client-led, helping to build positive experiences for our clients. We can help advise you on all the risks, and make sure you feel at ease going into your surgery.


    Breast implants are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments, and one of the key reasons is that the procedure has been developed and made as safe as possible. Implants are safe and natural-looking, helping you to get outstanding results following your surgery. 

    While there are some risks involved in having surgery, both from the surgery itself and the post-op complications, your surgeon is there to help talk you through the risks and put plans in place to avoid them. The benefits of breast implants outweigh the risks, helping to give you the body confidence you’ve been waiting for.  

    If you’re thinking of having breast implants, contact Burbank Plastic Surgery today, and we’ll be more than happy to discuss a customized treatment plan tailored just for you.