5 Things You Didn’t Know About Breast Implants

breast implants
Breast enlargement with implants remains one of the most popular plastic surgeries for women in the US

When considering breast implants, it’s important to do your research and be informed about the procedure, recovery, and potential risks. In this article, we present five tips that you may not have known about breast implants and their impact on various aspects, such as Instagram posts or areola sizing, to help you make an informed decision.

Getting informed about breast augmentation with implants, for example, silicone gel or saline types, remains one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for women in the US. That’s despite changing preferences and tastes when it comes to breast size and shape, as seen on Instagram. Although breast augmentation is one of the most favored surgeries, there’s still some confusion about breast implants, including the reasons for choosing the right size and type for each individual. Various factors, such as a person’s body and the particular implant’s shell, can impact the longevity and appearance of the results. For safety and to manage symptoms, it’s important to closely follow the monitoring instructions given by your physician. In association with your healthcare team, you can review a number of available products for use that will not adversely affect your immune system.

Here are a few common facts most people don’t know about breast implants and relevant information to help manage patients’ expectations and ensure their health and proper care. Some common questions and concerns among patients include breast reconstruction, the cost of breast implant surgery, and potential risks such as infection, swelling, bruising, or allergies to medications.

You May Need to Replace Them, or Not

As the FDA notes, breast implants aren’t meant to be ‘lifetime devices.’ That means that at some point in time, you’ll likely either want or will need to consider the replacement of your implants, depending on a patient’s body and the amount of scar tissue. With saline implants consisting of a saltwater solution and silicone gel implants emulating natural breast tissue, both options can affect the skin and area surrounding the implant differently, such as the armpit or periareolar region. You might need to remove or replace a breast implant because it has ruptured or because you are no longer pleased with the appearance of your breasts. Results will vary between patients, and complications or risks may arise in certain cases, such as problems with the pocket or crease where the implant is inserted.

It used to be said that implants, particularly silicone implants, needed to be swapped out every 10 years. That’s not necessarily true, though. As long as you are content with the appearance of your breasts and neither implant is leaking or ruptured, you can keep them for longer than 10 years. In some cases, women have had the same implants for up to 30 years. Some patients, however, may notice changes in their breast shape after weight loss, such as a rounder center, which can alter their satisfaction with the implants.

Mammograms Can Be Tricky With Implants

Having breast augmentation will most likely change your experience when it comes to getting a mammogram, especially if you’re at an age when screening for breast cancer is recommended. The X-ray imaging used during the exam isn’t able to penetrate through either a silicone or a saline implant. That means that it is difficult for a technician and doctor to see the breast tissue under the implant around the nipple area, particularly following a mastectomy or breast reconstruction.

The good news is that there is a workaround so that women who have had breast surgery can get an accurate mammogram. Usually, women with implants will get an additional four images taken during their screening. When those images are captured, the implant is moved out of the way, and the breast is pulled forward to capture a better image. Usually, it is easier for a tech to capture those images when the implants have been put under the muscle rather than over the muscle. It’s essential to take extra care during these procedures to ensure patient comfort, particularly in managing any pain or discomfort that may occur from bruising or tension on the skin. Close communication with your medical team is vital, and maintaining a strong immune system while addressing issues like cell lymphoma and following your physician’s instructions can help safeguard your well-being throughout the process. If you have concerns or questions about your mammogram, it’s always best to seek advice from your healthcare provider, who can provide evidence-based decisions. You may also find it helpful to talk to others who have been through the same experience or even watch YouTube videos by someone who has shared their journey, including details about MRI scans, breast implant illness, treatment options, and everything in between.

There’s another thing you need to know about mammograms if you have implants. It is possible, but rare, for the procedure to rupture the implants. To minimize the risk of that happening, be sure to mention that you have implants when you schedule your screening and again before it begins, as well as any concerns you might have regarding anesthesia, recovery, and potential issues like contractures. You can also take a look at photos showcasing various sizes, shapes, and scars of breast implants to better visualize outcomes and understand the influence of factors like front-opening bra style on the final result.

It’s Not Just Size That Matters

There’s more to a breast implant than size. The shape of the implant and the material it is made out of will also influence how your breasts look after surgery. Another factor that influences the final result from surgery is whether the implant is put on top of the muscle or underneath it. During your consultation, your surgeon will review your options with you and make a recommendation for size, material, shape, and placement based on what you hope to get from the surgery and your proportions. Surgeons will provide relevant information, discuss sutures and incision placement, and address any potential complications and risks to help you make educated decisions throughout the process.

They Won’t Keep You From Getting Pregnant or Breastfeeding

You don’t have to wait until you have had children and have finished breastfeeding to have breast augmentation. Your implants won’t prevent you from getting pregnant. Furthermore, they won’t cause any harm to the fetus. Many women are able to successfully breastfeed after giving birth, even with implants.

If you are planning on having children and breastfeeding in the future, it’s a good idea to mention that to your surgeon during your consultation. That way, he can position the incisions and sutures during the surgery in a way that reduces the likelihood of the milk ducts getting cut or otherwise interfered with. Putting the implants under the muscle can also make breastfeeding easier afterward, preserving the functionality of the breast.

Depending on when you plan on getting pregnant and breastfeeding, it might be worth waiting to have breast surgery. Usually, breastfeeding and pregnancy change the size and shape of the breasts. You might notice that you lose some volume after breastfeeding or that your breasts droop. For this reason, it may be better to postpone surgery until you’ve finished having children, as this decision will affect the final style and appearance of your breasts.

Even With Implants, Your Breasts Might Still Change

Having breast augmentation doesn’t permanently press pause on the size and shape of your breasts. It doesn’t slow down or stop the aging process either. You might notice some changes in your breasts as you get older, whether you have implants or not. For some reason, those changes are dramatic enough to make them consider a second surgery, such as a breast lift or implant exchange.

If you are considering breast augmentation or any other type of breast surgery, it’s important to see a top-rated plastic surgeonDr. Paul Vitenas is one of the country’s best doctors, and he has been ranked as a top breast surgeon. To learn more about implants and your options, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation at his Houston, Texas, practice today. Through various channels like personal appointments or even educational content on YouTube, you gain the knowledge you need before committing to a life-changing decision.