Identifying Public Perceptions, Attitudes, and Concerns about Breast Implants and Their Complications: A National Survey

Erica Lee, Nima Khavanin, Helen Xun, Mya Abousy, Halley Darrach, Franca Kraenzlin, Hillary Jenny, Robin Yang, Justin M. Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Aesthetic and reconstructive implant-based breast operations are among the most common plastic surgery procedures. This study assessed the baseline knowledge of common breast implant-associated complications, and their influence on consideration of breast implants among adult laywomen within the United States. Methods: Five hundred women were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Respondents self-reported demographics and experience with breast implants. Questions were asked addressing respondents’ understanding of complications and concerns regarding breast implants. Results: Of the authors’ cohort (average age, 37.8 ± 11.7 years), 12.0% had received breast implants, 72.8% knew someone with implants, and nearly 50% would consider receiving implants in the future. As many as 82.2% reported at least one concern influencing their consideration of implants: safety (75.2%), cost (70.0%), unnatural shape (43.3%), and feel (45.2%). Respondents not considering implants were significantly concerned by foreign body implantation (P < 0.001). Almost 75% believed that implants last longer than 10 years. Following education about risks of capsular contracture and implant rupture, one-third of respondents considering implants and half of those unsure were “less likely” to receive implants. The majority were unchanged in their likelihood after learning about infection (74.4%) and implant migration (69.2%). Respondents with a history of implants were significantly less likely to believe there is strong evidence supporting the aforementioned complications (P < 0.001). Conclusions: The rising awareness surrounding breast implant safety has the potential to significantly impact perceptions and receptivity. This study identifies public perceptions of common breast implant-associated complications and primary long-term concerns, highlighting the importance of education on postoperative complications in informed consent and surgical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31E-39E
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


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