Five Myths about Breast Augmentation

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Myth 1: "EVERYONE WILL KNOW THAT I HAVE BREAST IMPLANTS"

Most implants which are obvious to the casual observer are due to avoidable problems: the implants are placed too high, are inappropriately in front of the chest muscle, or are too large for your chest. A carefully planned and performed breast enhancement can give most patients a very lovely, natural appearing result. Be sure to choose an experienced surgeon who will consider your desires while taking into account your height, weight, and your natural breast size, shape, and symmetry. Choosing an appropriate implant shape and size and positioning it correctly are key to achieving a natural looking result. Often, lifting your nipple and areola slightly can greatly enhance your result.

Myth 2: "IMPLANTS MUST BE REPLACED EVERY 5 TO 10 YEARS"

Implants do not need to be replaced unless a problem occurs. Many patients have had implants for 20+ years, which continue to be soft and natural looking. With the saline filled implants currently used for most patients desiring larger breasts, the most common problem is leakage. But less than 3% of patients in my practice have had leaks in 20 years! While implant deflation is not dangerous, the failed implant must be promptly removed and replaced. Interestingly, the most common cause for implant removal and exchange is the patient’s desire to have larger implants! And the most common cause for reoperation is asymmetric implant positioning.

Myth 3: "I WILL HAVE TO CHANGE MY LIFESTYLE OR ACTIVITIES"

Prior to surgery, we will give you detailed guidelines concerning the time needed off from work, and how soon you may expect to resume your particular sports and hobbies. Once healing has taken place a patient may resume all of her usual activities. I personally will guide you during the initial weeks of healing as to what you may or may not do. Ultimately, you can scuba dive, mountain climb, parachute jump, kick box or anything else that you might desire without worrying about your implants. Breast implant placement may slow times in swimming competition.  Professional or semi-professional athletes should recognize and accept how adding several pounds to their chest and increased cross sectional diameter may impede their exercise performance.

Myth 4: "A LARGE ENOUGH IMPLANT WILL CORRECT 'DROOPY' BREASTS"

If you have droopy breasts, that is, if your nipples are at or below the bottom of your breasts, implants alone will not correct the problem. Implants will increase the size of your breasts, but your nipples will still be too low and your breasts will not look attractive. In this situation, you will need a lift procedure along with your breast augmentation to achieve a well-shaped breast. The type of lift needed will depend on the amount of drooping present. My staff and I spend a great deal of time discussing the various options available for you. Some patients who are satisfied with the size of their breasts, but have lost shape due to pregnancy or weight loss, will find that a lift alone will give them the breast shape that they desire.

Myth 5: "IMPLANTS FEEL UNNATURALLY FIRM"

While augmented breasts will never feel as completely soft as most natural breasts, breast implants are a very good substitute. The key is to prevent, as much as possible, the building up of scar tissue around the implant. While no one has a magic formula to prevent this entirely, there are things that can be done to reduce the chances of having significant encapsulation occur. There are some convincing studies showing that textured saline implants are less likely to develop thick scar capsules than smooth wall implants. Placing the implants under the chest muscle helps to keep them feeling soft, and minimizes visible rippling. Using implants that are not too large and fit comfortably on the chest wall may also decrease firmness.

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Albany Plastic Surgeon