Most Common Myths: Breast Implants

Breast Augmentation with breast implants is the most popular procedure performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons.  There were over 325,000 breast augmentations performed in the United States last year, making it the number one procedure. The number of breast augmentation procedures has been increasing about 4% each year.  The advancing implant technology, combined with improved surgical techniques that offer a more rapid recovery, are some of the reasons why this procedure continues to become more popular year after year.

Breast Augmentation surgery is a procedure to increase the size of the breasts by inserting breast implants. These implants can be made out of either silicone gel or salt water (saline).  The implants make the breast larger, rounder, and fuller. Breast Augmentation surgery is often combine with other plastic surgery procedures such as tummy tucks, liposuction, and Brazilian butt lifts.

While this procedure is extremely popular, there are many myths about the surgery. Let’s take a look at the most common myths one at a time.

 

Breast Augmentation is Only For Young People:

 

It is true that the majority of women who undergo breast augmentation surgery are between the ages of 25 and 35 years old.  These are usually women who have always had small breasts and have always wanted them to be bigger. Many of these women have been wanting the procedure since they were in their teens.  This is why this procedure is so popular among young women.

However, this procedure is still very popular among women over 35 years old.  Many women experience changes in their breasts over time. This may be from aging, weight changes, pregnancies, and breast feeding. This is why even women in their 50s, 60s, and beyond desire breast augmentation surgery.  Many moms undergo a Mommy Makeover procedure, to help reverse the changes associated with pregnancies. Breast augmentation is usually a major component of these Mommy Makeovers. So, breast augmentation is a procedure for women of all ages.

You Can’t Breast Feed if You Have Breast Implants:

Many women fear that if they get breast implants, it will interfere with their ability to breast feed a child. This is not true.  When breast augmentation surgery is properly performed, there is virtually no disruption of the normal anatomy of the breasts.  This means that the breast feeding mechanisms are completely unaffected.  The implants are either placed under the breast tissue or under the chest muscle. This means that the breast producing gland is untouched, and the milk ducts that bring milk to the nipple, are not cut. 

 

This means that if you were able to breast feed, then you still will be able to breast feed. What is important to acknowledge is that not every woman is normally able to breast feed. Some are unable to produce enough milk to sustain a baby.  Studies have shown that as many as 5% of all women (without implants) are physically unable to breast feed.  So, it is follows that at least 5% of women who undergo breast implant surgery, will be unable to breast feed. However, this has nothing to do with the breast augmentation surgery.  The presence of a breast implant will also not harm a breast feeding baby.

Procedures like breast lifts and breast reductions do carry a risk of interfering with your ability to breast feed, since these procedures involve directly cutting the breast tissue and even removing some tissue.

 

 

 

Breast Always Look Fake After Breast Augmentation Surgery:

Many women fear having breast augmentation surgery because they fear looking fake. They think that breast implants always look tight, round, and hard. It is true that some breast implants look incredibly fake, but this is usually the look the woman requested. However, it is possible to have this surgery done and still maintain a natural appearance. The key to this natural look, is selecting a breast implant that best fits your body. If an implant is too large for you body, then it will look round and tight.  A properly selected breast implant will fit nicely into the normal dimension of your native breast tissue.  Generally, the smaller the implant, the more natural it will look.  Modern silicone gel tends to look and feel most natural as well.  Implants placed under the chest muscles have more tissue covering them, and tend to look more natural.

So, if you are looking for a natural appearance after your breast augmentation surgery, you may want to consider smaller implants, silicone gel material, placed under the muscle, and performed by a skilled Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

There Will Be a Lot of Pain:

 

Breast Augmentation surgery is not incredibly painful.  Of course, any surgical procedure will be associated with some post-operative pain. If the implant is placed under your chest muscle, then there will be pain associated with the elevation of the muscle.  There will also be some pressure in the chest from the presence of the implant. If a large implant in placed within small, tight breasts, you will experience some more pressure than if a small implant was placed. The incision itself is very small and is usually not painful at all.  Overall, most breast augmentation patients are fairly comfortable within just a few days. A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, skilled at breast augmentation, should be able to utilize modern techniques to reduce your post-operative pain.

 

Activities will be Restricted For a Long Time:

 

There will be some activity restrictions during the recovery period, but these are not major.  You will be able to perform normal activities within about 48-72 hours.  This means that you will be able to shower, go out to dinner, walk around, visit friends, etc. You will be advised to avoid heavy lifting and heavy exercise for about 2 weeks. This will allow the surgical area to heal.  If the implants are placed under the muscle, you will need to be extra careful to allow the chest muscle to heal and reduce the risk of bleeding.  So, breast augmentation surgery is very well tolerated with most patients returning to work and school after a long weekend.

Implants will Interfere with Mammograms:

Breast cancer is unfortunately very common. In fact, women have 1 in 8 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. This makes breast cancer screening with mammograms very important. In the United States, the current recommendation is for women to undergo screening mammograms every year, beginning at age 40. If there is a personal or family history of breast cancer, or other risk factors, they may be advised to start mammograms even before age 40.

Some think that if you have breast implants, it will make the detection of breast cancer on a mammogram more difficult. This is a valid concern, but luckily, it is not the case. There are modifications that are made during your mammogram if you have breast implants. So, make sure to tell your mammogram technician if you have had a previous breast augmentation surgery, so they can make the necessary adjustments to your test. There are also other methods such as MRI and ultrasound that can help detect any suspicious breast lesions.

 

Breast Implants Need to be Changed Every 10 Years:

Many people think that if they get breast augmentation surgery, they need to change the breast implants every ten years.  This is not an absolute. Breast implants only need to be changed if there is a problem with them (such as a leak) or if you desire to change them (for a new size, shape, or style).  If you have no problem with your implants and are happy with the size, then you do not need to change them routinely. They are not like car tires – they do not wear out and need to be changed.

However, you should be aware that breast implants are not designed to be lifetime devices. This means that if you decide to have breast augmentation surgery, you should be aware that there is a likelihood that you will need or want to have another breast surgery procedure at some point in your life. This is particularly true if you have your surgery at a young age.

To learn more about breast augmentation surgery, be sure to set up an appointment with a Dr. Schulman a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, experienced in breast implant surgery.