INTRODUCTION: Breast augmentation implant surgery is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures; however, it can be challenging because of its associated complications.
METHOD: We conducted a retrospective study of 546 patients operated on in eight years (May 2004 to May 2012). These patients underwent breast augmentation, alone or in association with mastopexy or breast reduction.
RESULTS: In this study, 84.8% textured and 15.2% polyurethane prostheses, with 91.7% deployed in the subglandular plane and 8.24% in the submuscular plane, were used. We investigated the occurrence of contracture (3.3%), seroma (2.7%), ptosis (2.7%), and infection (0.6%). Most contractures occurred 5 years after surgery and only in textured prostheses, which had a longer follow-up (4.2 years for textured implants vs. 1.7 years for polyurethane implants). There was a higher frequency of ptosis in textured implants and of infection in polyurethane implants. Only patients with textured prostheses showed contractures in the observed period. Concerning the deployment plane, seroma was more frequently observed in submuscular implants. More complex procedures showed a higher rate of complications. Polyurethane implants were associated with increased infection rates, whereas textured implants resulted in ptosis and seroma; however, there were no differences in contracture rates. All cases of infection occurred in patients who received reduction mammoplasty with polyurethane prostheses and were caused by common germs, with no cases of mycobacterial infection.
CONCLUSIONS: Contractures and ptosis uniquely occurred in textured prostheses in the shortest follow-up time. Infection occurred only in polyurethane prostheses. Mastopexies and reduction mammoplasties showed a progressively higher rate of complications.
Keywords: Breast implant; Polyurethanes; Capsular contracture of implants; Seroma.