Dr. Patti Flint

Five Most Common Misconceptions About Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed, with over three hundred thousand women having the procedure again last year. With popularity comes a lot of information on the internet. Unfortunately, I repeatedly see misinformation propagated. This article is my effort to dispel some of the most common myths.

Myth number one: Bigger is better when it comes to breast implants.

Larger implants come with higher complication rates, most commonly, mal-position of the implant out to the side or below the fold underneath the breast, or excessive thinning of the tissues leading to visible rippling. These problems can result in the need for costly and time consuming additional surgeries. Any experienced plastic surgeon should guide you through bio-dimensional planning when selecting an appropriate implant size for your frame and existing breast tissue. If the sizing is left up to you, look for other opinions.

Myth number two: Breast augmentation is only for young women.

According to the statistics published by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, women over forty years of age comprise over a third of breast augmentation patients. This is certainly true in my practice. In fact, I have performed breast augmentation on women well into their sixties. As long as the patient is healthy, there is no specific chronological age limit that applies to this procedure.

Myth number three: Implants need to be replaced every ten years.

Certainly not true in this era. While older generation silicone gel breast implants had poor durability and generally were found to be leaking by ten years, current silicone gel implants are very durable and only ten percent are in need of replacement at the ten year mark. This is generally diagnosed with a high-definition ultrasound or less commonly with an MRI. Saline implants do not need to be replaced unless a deflation occurs which is obvious to patient and surgeon alike. Saline implants deflate at about one percent per year of placement, so there is a ten percent chance of deflation at ten years.

Myth number four: Insertion site for the implant doesn’t matter.

Current data supports that implants placed through the armpit or nipple come with higher complication rates as compared to insertion in the crease underneath the breast. Scar tissue around the implants called capsular contracture and implant mal-position are both more common with armpit or nipple placement.

Myth number five: Active women should not have breast implants.

Active women have no greater issues with breast implants than sedentary women. It is vitally important that appropriately sized implants are used and that they be placed under the chest wall muscle so that they have good soft tissue coverage and adequate support. I have placed implants in marathon runners and karate instructors with very high patient satisfaction ratings.

Breast augmentation continues to be a very popular procedure with women across a wide spectrum of demographic groups. Patient satisfaction ratings are high and newer implant designs have led to much improved implant durability. Seek a board certified plastic surgeon with a lot of experience with the procedure. This will insure that bio-dimensional planning will be incorporated into your surgery. Proper implant size selection and insertion are vitally important to insuring low complication and revision rates. There is no reason to put up with smaller than desired breasts.I would be very happy to meet with you in consultation to discuss your options.


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