Breast Implant Surgery Misconceptions
What are the most popular misconceptions about breast implant surgery?
There are many common assumptions about breast implants that are not based on scientific fact but rather on public lore. On behalf of all women considering breast augmentation surgery, we have listed some myths about the operation that need to be dispelled, as well as the actual facts.
1. All implants need to be replaced after 10 years
There is no absolute indication to remove or replace breast implants at the 10-year mark. Breast implant removal with or without replacement should be considered if and when complications occur.
Breast implants are prosthetic devices that are not expected to last forever, and there are known complications that are associated with breast implants. Routine follow-up is essential in detecting any issues with the implants and determining appropriate therapeutic intervention, if any.
The most common reasons implants may need to be replaced include:
A. Rupture or leakage. If saline implants leak, the saline is reabsorbed by the body, whereas if silicone gel implants leak, the extruded silicone gel will need to be surgically removed. The chance of an implant leaking or rupturing increases with the implant’s age. However, rupture or leakage may occur at any time subsequent to surgery.
B. Capsular contracture. Capsular contracture describes an abnormal scar formation around the implant that usually presents with pain and hardening in the breast. This condition is usually progressive, resulting in distortion of the breast and displacement of the implant. Women may develop capsular contracture in either one or both breasts at any point following implantation.
2. It’s impossible to get a good idea of what the implant will look like pre-surgery
There are hundreds of types and sizes of breast implants currently on the market, and therefore an enormous range of possible results from breast augmentation. Edina Plastic Surgery is the only clinic in the Twin Cities area with high tech imaging equipment called the Vectra XT 3D camera that shows breast augmentation patients “virtual before and after photos” of implant options on their own bodies.
In addition to using the Vectra XT 3D camera, the surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery are experts in helping patients choose implants that match the patient’s own breast dimensions and characteristics in terms of breast width, diameter and position on the chest wall. For instance, placing a very large implant under a small, narrow breast will most likely result in an implant that may be palpable or whose edges may be visible at the top or sides of the breast. The surgeons also take the actual weight of the implants into consideration, and the progressive stretch of the tissues due to the effects of pressure from the implants and the downward pull of gravity.
3. A hospital stay is required for breast implant surgery
At Edina Plastic Surgery breast augmentation surgery is performed at our in-house AAAASF-approved surgical facility. This facility is state-licensed and staffed with the finest specialty-trained personnel. The surgical process itself takes about 1½ hours, and patients are in our recovery room for approximately 2 hours. An adult is required to give you a ride home and spend the first 24 hours with you, but no actual hospitalization is required.
4. Breast implants cause autoimmune diseases
The media has highlighted many anecdotal reports of patients who claim to have developed a number of health problems and diseases as a result of their breast implants. The association between implants and systemic or autoimmune diseases has been refuted in many scientific studies that included hundreds of thousands of women with implants. There is also no proven increased risk of breast cancer in patients with breast implants.
It is also important to note that the implants that are currently available in the US, including all silicone gel, saline and structured saline implants, are all FDA cleared. Implants of the previous generation used in procedures as early as the 1960’s did not undergo the extensive testing and data collection that implants are currently subjected to in order to ascertain their safety and effectiveness.