4 Things You Need to Know About Breast Implants

William Franckle, MD
Article by
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Breast implants are one of the top 3 plastic surgeries performed in the United States. Besides the typical – size, shape and type – questions many people ask, there are other aspects of the procedure that you should be aware. Here are answers to the most common questions we hear:

 

Placement Matters…

Breast implants can be placed under or over the chest muscle. If you are looking for the most natural-looking breasts you may want a “subpectoral implant,” placing the implant under the muscle. This tends to look more natural because there is a layer of skin and muscle over the implant, in comparison to an implant placed over the chest muscle where just a layer of skin covers it.

 

They don’t last forever…

Patients often ask if they should expect to have their implants replaced after ten years. The FDA labeling states that the implants are expected to last ten years, but that is because all medical devices need indication from the manufacturer as to how long they should last. In reality,
breast implants can last many years longer than ten. It is not unusual for a patient to come for a check-up with 15-20 year old implants that are functioning just fine. Remember there is no guarantee regarding how long your breast augmentation will look the way you want or if they will last a specific amount of time. Until the implant wears out or you decide for a change there is nothing for you to do.

 

You will have a scar…

We are making an incision in your skin which always leaves a scar. The good news is the scar is usually well hidden by the natural skin folds of the body. The underarm area, around the areola (nipple), or in the crease just below your breast are good places to hide the scar. There are pros and cons for each depending on individual circumstances.

 

Pregnancy will not hurt your implants…

As you know, pregnancy affects many parts of a woman’s body, including the breasts. When a woman begins lactating, the breast tissue enlarges and that can stretch the skin around the breast. What will not be affected are the implants themselves. The implants will remain the same, it is the tissue around the implants that may be affected. This could result in the need for a lift after you are finished breast feeding. During your pregnancy concentrate on that – your implants will be fine. You may need a touch-up, but we can discuss that after you are finished having children