Breast surgery that utilizes breast implants is very common and includes surgery for both cosmetic and reconstructive diagnoses. As in all procedures, informed consent is a very important component in preparing the patient for surgery. Lack of sufficient informed consent before a procedure that uses breast implants can reach the level of malpractice.
A patient consulted with her Plastic Surgeon about having a breast augmentation. As a 4’ 11” person who weighed 96 lbs., she told the doctor that she currently wore a 32 a bra and wanted to be augmented so she could wear a 36 D bra. She was very concerned about the possibility of implant rupture; she did not want to face the extra expense this would cost her. Her doctor assured her that he could surgically place implants that would give her the size she wanted and told her that, although he had never seen a patient with ruptured implants, if the implants did rupture, her insurance company would cover those costs. She had the surgery performed but was very unhappy because her bra size was only 34B, much smaller than her desired size. Also, 5 years later one of the implants ruptured, requiring removal and replacement. Her insurance company did not cover the costs of that surgery and she had to pay for this surgery out of pocket.