Misconceptions about breast implants

Published: February 14, 2019

According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. More than 300,000 women underwent breast augmentation in this country in 2017. The board certified plastic surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery are experts in breast augmentation and take the time to carefully discuss implant options with each patient.

Because the procedure is so popular, there is a great deal of media coverage on the subject. With it comes some common assumptions about breast implants that may not be based on scientific fact, but rather on popular fallacies.

Here is some pertinent factual information that will dispel some common myths about breast implants.

1. All implants need to be replaced after 10 years

The older the implants are, the higher the chance that there may be a leak or rupture, but there is no absolute indication to remove or replace implants at the 10-year mark.

The most common reasons implants may need to be replaced include rupture or leakage and capsular contracture. If saline implants leak, the saline is reabsorbed by the body. With silicone gel implants, the gel that is now used is highly cohesive (sometimes called “gummy bear” gel), and if the implant ruptures, the gel stays in the implant pocket. Ruptured implants are removed and a new implant can be placed with a relatively minor procedure.


2. Implants can be dangerous for babies during breastfeeding

Because the majority of women who undergo breast augmentation are in their 20’s and 30’s, many breast augmentation patients are concerned about potential risks for the baby should they subsequently become pregnant. Many studies have shown that there is no medical risk for babies who are born to or breastfed by women with saline or silicone breast implants. Also, there are no inherent risks in breast augmentation that would make the surgery a contraindication to a future pregnancy.

3. Bigger is better when it comes to implant size

With the wide range of implant types and sizes currently on the market, there is an enormous range of possible results from breast augmentation. Our skilled and experienced surgeons will provide you with the insights and appropriate options for your body type to try and achieve your goals. Dr. Nathan Leigh, Dr. Robert Wilke or Dr. Michael Philbin will discuss a multitude of factors with you, including the implant shape, size, type and texture, as well as placement options tailored to your individual body. Bigger is not necessarily better in the long run when it comes to breast implant selection.

4. Implant sizing is just a “guessing game”

Edina Plastic Surgery is the only clinic in the Twin City area with the Vectra XT imaging equipment that shows before and after options for breast implant patients. Our Vectra XT camera captures comprehensive 3D images of your breasts. The 360-degree images, which have a sharp definition, can be used to show the possible outcomes of various implant sizes and shapes for breast augmentations. Patients can “test drive” various implants using this virtual technology so they know what to expect before they make their final decision.


Any “cosmetic surgeon” is qualified to perform breast augmentation surgery

When choosing a surgeon to perform a breast augmentation, it is extremely important that patients realize that “cosmetic” surgeons are not the same as “plastic” surgeons.

Breast augmentation surgery may seem to a patient like a relatively simple operation, but ensuring the best results involves a long and comprehensive process on the part of the plastic surgeon and requires the knowledge and expertise of a surgeon who is board certified.

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