The most immediate risk is of bleeding requiring a return to the operating theatre. This should happen in less than 3% of patients.
In the days and weeks after surgery there is a risk of infection. Most infections can be treated with antibiotics.
In the medium and long term there is a risk of asymmetry, discomfort, movement of the implant, changes in nipple sensation, and tender or lumpy scarring.
The risk of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism is minimized by the use of thrombo-embolic stockings, and early mobilization of the patient after surgery (getting out of bed as soon as fit enough to do so with the support of the nurses).
Patients who experience a rapid onset of calf pain, or shortness of breath in the weeks after surgery, need rapid assessment (usually best carried out by a local hospital emergency department) to exclude the possibility of a deep venous thrombosis (a clot in the calf veins) or a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot obstructing a lung blood vessel.
The risk of sepsis after breast augmentation surgery is extremely low, however, any patient who develops a fever and feels unwell in the days and weeks after surgery, should seek urgent medical assessment and advice. This could mean attending the emergency department of a local hospital.