Up to 24 per cent of women who have breast implants suffer at least one complication.
Complications were more common among those who had implants after mastectomy than those who had them for cosmetic reasons.
The risk of a complication tended to increase with time; the estimated risk of a complication in the first 60 days was just 3.7 per cent, for example.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota made the discovery after studying 749 women who had a first breast implant at the clinic between 1964 and 1991 (New Eng J Med, 1997; 336: 677-82).
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