Breast implant complications increase if the doctor is not a specialist surgeon

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Most women present approximately ten years after the initial implant surgery.

Plastic surgeon Mark Ashton, professor of surgery at the University of Melbourne, said one of the main reasons patients needed corrective surgery was that doctors had little or no training in mammal augmentation.

“Double bubble is one of the major issues I see, and it’s often because of poor preoperative planning and a lack of understanding of how implants work,” Ashton said.

The study comes as a class action lawsuit against The Cosmetic Institute was given the green light to proceed after an attempt by doctors to dismiss it failed.

Sally Gleeson, partner at Turner Freeman Lawyers, said the firm has been contacted by more than 1,000 women who have experienced major complications after breast implant surgery.

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Deva said it was essential that a portal or database be established so that women can report complications, especially those that occur within five years of surgery.

Choosing a doctor carefully is key because “training makes a difference and impacts outcomes and complications,” Ashton said. “Surgery is more than just learning how to perform a single operation.”

Heather Myers, who spent $2,000 on breast implant surgery at an outpatient clinic while living in Thailand in 2003, said she had recently developed discomfort and the implants were removed in May.

“I’d had [the implants in] almost 20 years ago and for a long time I had no noticeable problems, but I was never told about aftercare.

“It was pretty awful now that I think about it. It wasn’t until I started reading stories about people taking them out that I went for a scan and realized they had been taken away.

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The doctors who removed her implants said it was “very likely” that a sizer – a device used to check the size of the implant before surgery – was used rather than a medical-grade implant.

“I didn’t leak silicone into my body. But the doctors showed me that what came out was unlikely to be a proper implant. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable they were until they were removed. I had supported them for so long,” Myers said.

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