According to The Huffington Post, an Argentine woman has died recently as the result of attempting to give herself breast implants. Sonia Perez Llanson, age 39, had injected herself with petroleum jelly in an effort to increase her breast size. Shortly after, she developed difficulty breathing. After a month of hospitalization, Llanson died when vaseline that had entered her bloodstream and formed clots managed to travel to her lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism.
“In all my medical career, I’ve never seen a case like this,” said the chief of surgery, Julia Pla Cardenas, at the hospital Llanson was staying at. Pla Cardenas explained that vaseline is potentially life-dangering when used in non-intended forms. Although many people read about cases like this and see it as proof against breast augmentation procedures, the reality is that this is a false comparison considering that most implants take place under the care of a breast augmentation surgeon.
If you are considering your breast augmentation options, it’s important not to rush into the procedure. Here are a few things you should know, first.
Breast Implant Options
- One alternative that can also be used to “preview” the effects of a possible surgery are bra enhancers. These pads can give you the appearance of larger breasts, as well as extra lift. Silicone pads are popular for a more natural feel and appearance.
- If you’ve decided on something more permanent, saline breast implants are one option. These silicone shells are filled with a saline (salt and water) solution and inserted into the breast area. A benefit of saline is that the incision can be smaller, and there are a few more options as to the incision area.
- Silicone breast implants are the most popular choice, with 70% of patients preferring them because their look and feel is similar to that of real breasts.
What are the Risks Associated With a Breast Augmentation Procedure?
- With any surgery comes the likelihood of minor complications, as well as a small risk of more major problems. With breast implants, more common complications (occurring at least 1% of the time) include nipple pain, asymmetry, capsular contracture (tissue tightens around an implant, resulting in breast firmness), infection, and skin rashes.
- It’s worth noting that breast augmentation procedures are not intended to be lifetime devices — the longer you keep them in past their recommended usage (usually 7-10 years), the more likely you are to experience complications including deflation of the implant (both saline and silicone are relatively safe to the body, but the implant will need to be taken out as soon as possible if this happens).
- Deflation is a common fear, but it’s worth noting that the risk of saline implant deflation, for example, is only about 1% per implant, per year.