Over the last 14 years, I have had the pleasure of working with literally thousands of patients seeking breast enhancement. And in working with these patients, I have come across a number of myths and legends (related to breast augmentation) that simply are not true. And, I have found that many potential patients are completely confused and inundated from the vast amount of information available to them on the Internet related to breast augmentation.
To clear up some of these mistruths, I’d like to address the top 3 things that your Plastic Surgeon may not be telling you.
- Myth #1: Implants are forever
While breast augmentation is a very rewarding event for my patients, I emphasize to that breast implants are medical devices and, like all medical devices, they may need to be replaced over time. But DO NOT fall into the other trap of replacing them every 10 years. This is a MYTH and is based on an erroneous interpretation of a an study on early implants. That being said, I see a number of patients who come in after years of havng implants and request either a size change (usually upsizing) or adjustment of the soft tissue around the implants because of pregnancy, weight change, or simply due to age-related changes they have experienced over time. This myth is particularly important when considering the incisional approach. While some patients are wooed by the supposed “scarless” breast augmentation achieved through an armpit incision, they are often not told that they will probably require implant revision over time and that this not an incision that can be used for that revision. As such, I prefer approaching breast augmentation through an inframammary crease (breast fold) incision at the initial procedure. This way I have better access for creating a subpectoral pocket for the implant and this incision can then be used again for any revisional procedures.
- Myth #2: All patients look the same with a specific size of implant
This is easily one of the most frustrating concerns that patients have when choosing a specific size of implant. They look on the web, find pictures that they like, and then ultimately choose an implant size based on these pictures. Every woman is an individual (not only in their height, weight, etc. but also in the consistency of their breasts) and so every patient needs to be treated like an individual. Some patients will require a larger implant to fill out the soft tissue envelope while others will respond nicely to a much smaller implant. This is why I have you bring in photos not of a specific size that you like but instead, a proportionate look. I want to know how you want to look with respect to the volume of your breasts as compared to the rest of your body. From there, we can choose a size range that will be used with implant sizers during the actual procedure. I can then see exactly how a specific size will look for you!
- Myth #3: You can expect at least a week of downtime following breast augmentation
This is completely false! Because of changes in surgical technique as well as procedures (such as the Intercostal Nerve Block), a majority of my patients are off narcotics and back to normal activities within 24-48 hours and back to full exercise within about 5-6 weeks thereafter. We consistently hear from our patients that they were pleasantly surprised how little pain they actually had after surgery and how the procedure that we perform was so different than they expected. Our patients don’t have time to lie in bed for weeks and so we do everything we can (from performing a nerve block during surgery to optimizing your nutrition) to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
I hope this information was helpful and look forward to your feedback! If you have any questions or comments, please post them below. We’d love to hear from you!