Breast implant surgery is one of the most common surgical practices across the globe. Due to the popularity of breast implants, there are a number of misconceptions surrounding both the procedure and recovery process. Since there is a high demand for breast augmentation surgery, it’s best to not only address the myths but debunk them right here and right now.
While we will be addressing the major misconceptions of breast augmentation, it’s also very important to do your own research as well. Speaking to a reputable surgeon or other healthcare providers within the area can help you to make a better decision about the surgery itself. Until then, here are the top 5 most common myths about breast surgery that you should know.
Myth #1: Implants always look fake
This is simply just not true. Based on the wide range of options available for breast augmentation, you’re able to select materials, sizes, and surgical incisions that will create the most natural-looking breasts for you.
Breast Implant Material
When undergoing breast augmentation surgery, you will have the chance to select from a range of implant materials. Your options include silicone, saline, cohesive gel (also known as ‘gummy bear’), or autologous fat.
Silicone implants are one of the most common choices for many plastic surgeons worldwide. Due to their realistic appearance, many people opt for this material over saline. Silicone tends to have a more natural look and feel to them and shows less rippling under the skin when compared to other materials.
Breast Implant Placement
Breast implants can be placed either under, over, or between the pectoralis muscles of your chest. When it comes to creating the most natural appearance, the placement truly does matter.
Many surgeons will suggest placing breast implants under your chest muscles to give you a softer visual transition between the rib cage and the breast. This placement also provides a better mammography view compared to the other two placement options.
Breast Implant Size and Shape
If you’re looking to achieve more natural-looking breasts, it’s best to select a size and shape that is fitting to the rest of your body. While many women want the fuller look, too much volume has a very different effect on one person compared to another. On a similar note, the shape of the implant also matters. Round implants tend to create more cleavage and fullness, whereas teardrop-shaped implants match the downward slope of natural breasts.
At the end of the day, breast augmentation does not always look fake, so long as you select the right implant material, placement, and size for your body.
Myth #2: You can’t breastfeed after having breast augmentation
This is a very common misconception for many people who may be considering breast augmentation surgery — especially women who are looking to become mothers in the near future. The main reason this is a myth is simply that implants are typically positioned behind the milk glands or under the chest muscles which does not have any effect on the milk supply.
While breastfeeding should never become impossible, careful planning with your doctor can help reduce any chances of breastfeeding difficulties. Because the nerves around the nipples play an important role in breastfeeding, it’s best to avoid an areolar incision technique. Instead, you can opt for an inframammary incision (located on the lower crease of the breast) or trans axillary incision (under the armpit).
Myth #3: You will experience a long and painful recovery
Undergoing breast augmentation is similar to many other controlled surgeries. While every patient recovers from surgery at a very different rate, it is a myth that breast implant recovery is a long and painful process.
For optimal healing, your surgeon will provide instructions on postoperative hygiene care. This should include instructions on bathing, handing of wound dressings, and wearing surgical bras. Also, you’re likely to be prescribed pain medication in order to minimize any immediate pain following surgery.
For the majority of cases, women report minimal pain and describe their post-surgical recovery process as “brief and manageable”. Depending on the person, it usually takes about 5-7 days to do your general activities at low intensities, and 4-6 weeks to get back to exercising.
Myth #4: Silicone implants are dangerous
A few decades ago, there had been some concern over silicone implant leakages. Since much dispute, research has never found any association between silicone implant leakage and health repercussions. However, there continue to be misconceptions surrounding the safety of silicone implants.
While there is no evidence to confirm silicone breast implants are dangerous, any ruptures to them do require immediate medical attention. The use of silicone compared to other popular implant material, such as saline, does not put you at increased risk due to leakage or ruptures. What happens, in this case, is that the ruptured implant might eventually cause breast pain, breast thickening, or changes to the shape of the breast.
Myth #5: The bigger the implants, the better
Last but not least, the myth that bigger means better. When it comes to breast augmentation surgery, bigger implants do not mean better — especially if you’re going for a more natural-looking breast.
If you’re someone who is committed to the idea that bigger breast implants are the way to go, it’s important to consider the risks involved in this decision. Here are the most common complications that you risk when opting for larger breast implants:
- You may form extra scar tissue around the implant that can distort the shape of the breast implant, also known as capsular contracture.
- Your chest may not be able to accommodate the size of the implant, resulting in the implant ‘bottoming out’ or slipping under the fold line of your breasts.
- Your skin may become quite thin and see-through, resulting in the implant becoming visible from under your skin.
- Your nipples may tilt upwards over time as the implant sags. This can create an unnaturally long distance between the fold line beneath your breast and the nipple.
- You are more likely to experience greater back pain over time due to the additional weight involved in larger breast implants.
For these reasons, among various others, bigger is definitely not better. During the initial discussion with your plastic surgeon about breast augmentation, you’ll receive measurements based on your current size. This will help inform the surgeon about the most optimal fitting size of breast implants for you.