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Myths Around Breast Augmentation and Implants Busted!
There are several myths around breast surgeries – be it breast augmentation surgery or breast implants. So I thought to myself, maybe we should clear up all the commonly accepted misconceptions. This will help you understand which ones are to be believed and which are just that – myths.
I spoke to several plastic surgeons to clear up these myths around breast implants and breast augmentation surgery. Below is the information regarding the 7 most common myths.
Myth – Teardrop breast implants look more natural than their round counterparts
For some reason, there is a general notion that teardrop shaped breast implants look more natural. This is untrue.
We need to consider a few points here. The round shaped implants are soft and feel natural. The gel in these implants is pretty mobile allowing them to take a teardrop shape when the patient is standing upright and behave like a natural breast would when they are lying down.
So that the shape of a teardrop shaped implant can be retained, the gel in it is more dense making it feel firmer. In some of the patients, this is certainly more useful. Round shaped implants do not mean that the appearance of your breasts after augmentation will be round; if the size of your implants is large, any shaped implant will give a round appearance in the upper portion of the breasts.
Myth – placement of the implants under the muscle will always look better than when placed over the muscle
This is not true for a majority of patients. Your breast normally is not under the pectoral muscle. The placement of the implants under the pectoral muscle works best for those patients who are extremely thin hence have little breast tissue and reduced skin elasticity as well. In fact, if a patient has loose skin, placing the implant under the muscle will cause what is called a double bubble deformity and filling the pocket with the implant will not give a natural result.
Myth – it is better to place the implant through the armpits rather than under the breasts
Most cosmetic surgeons use the under the breast placement for certain reasons. Firstly, this allows for the best access to the site of placement of the implant making it easier for the surgeon to place your implant well and also secure any bleeding points within the pocket. The resultant scar from this placement is a fine one in a majority of patients. Secondly, when opting for silicone gel implants, placing under the breasts is the best approach since there is less fracturing of the gel.
Myth – it is better to opt for breast implants that offer a lifetime warranty
Some of the manufacturing companies offer a lifetime warranty on their implants but these differ. In case of a capsular contracture (scarring around the implants), some of the companies will cover it. Mostly this is a free implant.
In case of any manufacturing defect, some of the companies will provide implants and add a small fee to cover the replacement cost. Mostly we have seen that the compensation is barely a fraction of what the entire procedure costs. It is hence advisable to choose an implant carefully rather than having to depend on a warranty later.
Myth – breast implants can lead to breast cancer
The risk of breast cancer does not decrease or increase with the use of implants. While the implant is placed behind the pectoral muscle, all of the breast tissue remains in the front of it. This allows for all the standard self examination procedures to remain possible as well as those required after an augmentation surgery.
A mammography may be challenging in women with implants since the size of the implants may hamper the positioning of the breasts in the machine. We recommend that you get an ultrasound after your augmentation in case you need to check for any change in the implant or the breast tissue.
Recently, some evidence has been found that there may be a kind of cancer that could appear in the scar tissue that surrounds the implant and this is called the Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). There is little known about this at this point of time other than that it may have some association with breast implants and it is very rare.
The extremely rare occasion where a sudden swelling is found around the implants, the implant together with the scar tissue must be removed for testing as well as the breast must be scanned. Even though this is a rare occurrence, if you are looking for a breast implant surgery, you must be aware of it.
Myth – It is dangerous to get silicone gel implants
If you insert any foreign body, it will have an effect on your body for sure. Even though increasing in your breast size and perkiness are welcome benefits of an implant; there are some unwelcomed effects too.
With the placing of an implant, your skin stretches and your breast tissue gets thinner. Large implants could lead to stretch marks, increased sagging or loss of sensation. Since the tissue gets thin, rippling may be an issue for some patients. In case of a rupture, the silicone could lead to nodularity due to reaction. However, this problem is posed only with older silicone implants and the cheaper options where the integrity of the silicone bag enclosing the gel is questionable.
Today most high quality manufacturers have overcome this possibility by limiting the leakage and with the use of high quality gel. Any stories you may have heard of silicone leakage through the nipples or of the implant itself exploding during air travel are false.
Myth – you need to regularly replace implants
Breast implants do not have an expiration date and regular replacement is not a requirement. Having said that, depending on the age when a patient gets their first augmentation procedure done, 2 to 4 further operations may be required for maintenance.
There are some common reasons for removing or replacing the implants – the implants getting hardened due to scar tissue around them over the many years; rupture in cheaper implants; recalling of defective implants (the PIP case); building up of fluid around the implant; your desire to have smaller or larger implants after a few years; and sagging over the years.
With every surgery, you will be required to take more time off from work and spend more money as well. Even though a small percentage of patients have to undergo replacement of implants, it cannot be said with surety if it would be you. It is imperative though that you make allowance for further procedures if you are undergoing an implant surgery. Also, choose only the highest quality of implants; keep in mind that the cost of the implant is only a fraction of that of the total procedure. You must not strive to save money with cheaper implants, it could cost you more in the long run.