Busting the Breast Augmentation Myths – The Truth

Busting the Breast Augmentation Myths – The truth about implants and breast augmentation

Breast augmentation surgery is the most popular cosmetic procedure around the world. From concerns about safety to misconceptions about outcomes, there’s a plethora of misinformation surrounding breast implants and augmentation. In this guide, Dr Turner shares some of the common myths about breast augmentation and breast implants.

29 Breast Augmentation Myths and some useful myth-busting info

1. MYTH – Breast Implants will cause a permanent loss of sensation in the breast

This is one of the most common myths you will see when you search for ‘breast augmentation side effects. There is a slight truth to this myth which explains its widespread belief. As a side effect of the procedure, you may lose sensation over your breast and nipple, temporarily, and when your body heals from the procedure, slowly and steadily, the sensation will return. But because it is lost for a while, many people think it is permanent.

The loss of sensation can be explained by the fact that these nerves are stretched during the procedure because of the placement of the breast implants. It is a common occurrence, and any procedure where nerves are stretched will result in temporary loss of sensation. As you are in the recovery period, these nerves will begin to heal and result in the return of sensation in both your nipple and breast. Permanent loss of sensation is a very rare side effect of the breast augmentation procedure.

2. MYTH – Breast implants will cause my breasts to look fake

There are many different types of breast implants with different shapes, sizes, and contents. Based on which type of breast implant you get, for example, a round implant, or teardrop implant, can affect how your breasts look and appear. Recent advancements in the field of cosmetic surgery have made it even harder to tell the difference between natural breasts and implants. It is important to note that if you get implants that are way too big or not proportional to your body size, it is highly likely that your breast implants will look fake.

3. MYTH – Breast Implants will feel fake after the procedure

As mentioned above, breast implants come in different sizes and types. Some of the different types of implants, based on their contents, are silicone-filled breast implants or saline-filled breast implants. Each type has its own pros and cons, especially with regard to feel. However, it is worth noting that several strides have been made in the field of science and technology which has resulted in the development of modern breast implants. These breast implants are filled with materials that feel and appear similar to actual breast tissue, hence, making this statement a myth.

4. MYTH – You cannot breastfeed after a breast augmentation procedure

This myth is often found circulating in online forums discussing breast augmentation procedures and many women, especially those who want children and want to be able to breastfeed them, get worried. However, this is not true.

You can breastfeed your children after getting a breast augmentation procedure done. In fact, certain techniques of the procedures make breastfeeding easier for you in the future. You can and should discuss any of the concerns you have about breastfeeding with Dr Turner to ensure that the surgeon is aware of your desire to breastfeed in the future. This allows you to have peace of mind, before and after the surgery, about being able to breastfeed and you do not have to be stressed because of this widely popular yet untrue statement.

5. MYTH – You need to replace implants every decade, or even more frequently

Some implant manufacturers recommend that their implants should be replaced every ten years. However, this is not the case for every modern breast implant. In fact, many plastic surgeons will not agree to replace an implant if it is functioning normally, the shape is retained, and the patient is happy with its overall appearance. If the implant has ruptured or you want to change the implant to a bigger or smaller one, or if you don’t want an implant anymore at all, then consider implant replacement or implant removal, accordingly.

6. MYTH – Breast augmentation procedure is a painful procedure

A breast augmentation procedure is a surgical procedure, and just like any surgical procedure, there is going to be discomfort. However, the procedure is performed either under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with intravenous sedation. Once their effects are gone, you may start to feel pain and other discomfort. Most surgeons will prescribe a painkiller and, sometimes, antibiotics to help you during the recovery phase.

7. MYTH – Breast augmentation with Silicone Implants will cause an autoimmune disorder

The reason why this myth has received traction and why the implants were once recalled by the FDA is that silicone implants were found to be highly associated with the occurrence of breast implant illness, an autoimmune disorder. However, after that, extensive testing was done on these implants and it was found that they are safe to use. They, then, returned to the market after 14 years, in 2005, and are now approved by FDA for use in women over the age of 18 years.

8. MYTH – Breast implants will show results immediately after the procedure

Before you undergo your breast augmentation procedure, you will have a consultation where you will discuss your expectations and goals for the surgery. The results you discuss here will be what your surgeon will aim for and try to reach those for you. However, you won’t be able to see it the moment you wake up from your surgery. In fact, it is very likely that your breasts may appear higher than usual and look weird to you. This is not because your surgeon hasn’t done a good job but rather because of the tightening of your chest muscles.

As you recover from the procedure and your chest muscles relax, your breasts will lower a little, relative to the first day post-op. This is called dropping and fluffing, The final results of the breast augmentation procedure will become visible about six months after the procedure.

9. MYTH – Saline breast implants are the best ones to get

All breast implants have a set of pros and cons, and there is no one implant that is the best one to get. Depending on your expectations and desired results, the type of implant may be recommended for you by your specialist surgeon.

10. MYTH – Any surgeon can perform a breast augmentation procedure

Only those who have been well trained in breast augmentation procedures, after receiving accreditation in plastic and reconstructive surgery, should perform breast augmentation procedures. Any doctor or so-called ‘cosmetic surgeon’ could perform the surgery, but the results vary considerably and revision surgery costs are much higher than primary surgery.

Hence, you should always research your surgeon, check their qualifications with AHPRA, see their patient photos, and read the testimonials and reviews for them online. This will help you choose the best surgeon for your breast augmentation.

11. MYTH – You can choose any size for breast implants

When choosing breast implants for breast augmentation, it is important to not only focus on the shape and content of your implant but also the size of the implant. Breast implants are available in sizes from 100cc to 800cc in Australia with the most popular size being around 300-350cc.

12. MYTH – You will have ugly scars after breast augmentation procedure

Most surgeons perform cosmetic breast procedures using techniques where incisions are made such that they are hidden in the natural contours of your body – usually under the breast crease. It is important to keep in mind that the extent of scarring after a breast augmentation procedure can vary depending on factors such as the surgical technique used, incision placement, individual healing ability, and post-operative care.

13. MYTH – Breast Implants are not safe

Breast implants are medical devices that are placed into your breast cavity to add volume. Implants have been tested for safety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. In fact, the FDA has approved the use of implants.

14. MYTH – You can’t get breast implants if you are old

The breast augmentation procedure applies to anyone who is over the age of 18 years and healthy, both mentally and physically. Having implants at an older age can address age-related volume loss in the breasts.

15. MYTH – Breast augmentation is an easy and simple procedure

Breast augmentation is a plastic and reconstructive surgical procedure that is far from being a simple procedure. It can take approximately 1 hour to 2 hours to perform, and the recovery period can take up to six weeks. Like any surgical procedure, breast augmentation requires careful planning, skillful execution, and thorough post-operative care to achieve optimal results and minimise risks.

16. MYTH – Breast augmentation procedure is going to result in severe bruising

The recovery period from most cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures is marked by discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Any discomfort can be managed using painkillers and anti-inflammatories that your surgeon will prescribe. Bruising after a breast augmentation procedure can vary from person to person. This will depend on several factors such as the body’s natural healing response, the surgical technique used, and individual susceptibility to bruising.

17. MYTH – Placement of implant over the muscle is the best choice for breast implants

It is a myth that only one specific type of implant placement technique should be used. Under the muscle (sub-muscular) or over the muscle (sub-glandular) are both appropriate techniques for placement. However, the choice of implant placement depends on several factors, including your anatomy, the type of implant, and your desired outcome.

18. MYTH – You will need draining tubes in your breasts after the surgery

In most cases, draining tubes are not necessary after breast augmentation surgery. However, there are rare instances where surgeons may choose to use drains to prevent the accumulation of fluid or blood around the implant. It is important to keep in mind that the decision to use draining tubes after the procedure depends on factors such as the extent of surgery, the individual patient’s anatomy, and the surgeon’s preference.

19. MYTH – You can’t have an accurate mammogram with breast implants

A mammogram is an imaging modality that helps doctors view your breast tissue. While having breast implants can make mammogram interpretation more challenging, it is still possible to obtain accurate mammogram results with the appropriate techniques.

20. MYTH – You only need to do a breast augmentation procedure if you want a bigger bra size

While you can undergo a breast augmentation procedure to increase your breast size, it is not the only reason one would get breast surgery done. You may choose to get breast augmentation done if you have lost a significant amount of weight, or have lost breast volume after pregnancy or breastfeeding. Moreover, you may choose to get breast implants placed after a mastectomy procedure, as a method of preventing or treating cancer.

21. MYTH – All breast augmentation procedures should be done using the same technique

Most surgical procedures have several different techniques which can be used to perform the procedure. Breast augmentation is the same and has many different techniques depending on each specific patient and the type of implant along with the patient’s expectations and goals for the procedure. See the page on breast implant options for more details.

22. MYTH – Breast implants can help reduce breast descent

If you have descending breasts, placement of breast implants is not really going to help. What you can do is undergo breast augmentation with a breast lift procedure. A breast lift removes excess skin and fat from your breasts and lifts them.

23. MYTH – Breast augmentation procedure is followed by a painful recovery period

The recovery period of almost all surgical procedures is followed by discomfort as your body heals. The discomfort can be managed with painkillers that you can buy over-the-counter or those prescribed by your surgeon.

24. MYTH – Breast implants will become disfigured during pregnancy

The change in estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy results in the increased size of your breast tissue. When pregnant, the tissue will grow and put pressure on the implants but these implants are manufactured to be resilient and withstand this pressure. The implants themselves remain unaffected during the pregnancy. However, the natural changes that occur in breast tissue during pregnancy can sometimes lead to changes in the appearance of the augmented breasts.

25. MYTH – A Breast augmentation procedure is quite costly

Breast augmentation surgery can indeed be costly. However, the prices vary depending on factors such as the surgeon’s experience and expertise, geographic location, facility fees, type of implants used, and any additional procedures required. It’s essential to consider the overall cost, including pre-operative consultations, surgical fees, anaesthesia fees, facility fees, post-operative care, and any potential revision surgeries.

26. MYTH – If your friend had good results from a surgeon, undergoing the procedure with the same surgeon will produce the same results

Every woman looks different and has different chest walls, breast structures, and amount of breast tissue. You can’t get the same results unless you have identical breasts and chest which is highly unlikely.

27. MYTH – Breast implant means your breast shape will not change over time

While breast implants can change breast size and shape, they do not prevent natural changes that occur over time, such as ageing, weight fluctuations, and the effects of gravity. As a result, the shape of the breasts may change over time, and additional procedures such as breast lift or revision surgery may be necessary.

28. MYTH – You have to undergo general anaesthesia to have a breast augmentation procedure done

General anaesthesia is just one of the options for a breast augmentation procedure and if you would rather not use it, you could opt for local anaesthesia with intravenous sedation. Dr Turner prefers to use general anaesthesia performed by an accredited anaesthetist. It is important to keep in mind that the type of anaesthesia to be used will depend on factors such as the patient’s medical history, surgeon’s preferences, and the complexity of the procedure.

29. MYTH – Fat grafting or Fat Transfer to Breasts is a healthier and better alternative to breast implants

Fat grafting or fat transfer to the breasts is an alternative to breast implants that utilises the patient’s own fat cells harvested from other areas of the body through liposuction. However, choosing between fat grafting or the use of breast implants will depend on several factors such as the availability of donor tissue, surgical candidacy, and the patient’s aesthetic goals.

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