Despite their immense popularity, many myths continue to persist about breast augmentation surgeries. Cosmetic practitioners — according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery — performed over 34,000 breast augmentation surgeries in 2016, making it by far the most popular cosmetic surgery in Australia. The procedure has seen global popularity rise by 11 percent in the last year as well. With so many procedures completed every year, why do these myths about breast augmentation persist?
Many factors contribute to this problem. Of course, talking about any surgery can feel daunting. As a result, women may discuss the topic with friends, rely on word of mouth or media accounts, or turn to the internet which can provide both good and bad information. Women may feel informed without ever having spoken to their doctors. These factors can prove especially true of cosmetic surgeries which still face social stigma.
While your doctor will still provide you with the best information and advice, we hope to counter some popular myths surrounding these procedures and provide some discussion points for your surgery consultation.
Breast implants have improved significantly since their introduction in 1962 and they continue to improve. Besides size, women can make many individualised choices. In addition to two primary selections in make-up — saline or silicone — patients can also choose between smooth or textured shells, round or teardrop shapes and high or low profiles. Each of these options gives women significant control over how natural their new breasts will look and feel. Women can also choose placement — over or under the chest muscles — which also affects how natural the breast will look. Patients concerned about their side profile, for example, can work with their doctors to ensure that the placement makes this area look most flattering. Women have more options than ever available to them to achieve a very natural look.
Implant rupture remains among the biggest risks associated with breast implants. However, only 15 percent of implants rupture within their first 10 years, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and only two percent rupture within their first five years. While an implant rupture will require a replacement surgery, patients will most often face short-term inconvenience and not long-term injury. When an implant ruptures, the body will absorb saline and contain silicone, allowing doctors to remove it safely.
Concerns about the relationship between implants and disease or infection have also continued to mount over the years, largely spurred by media accounts. According to a 1994 study, however, the Mayo Clinic in the United States found no evidence of 12 kinds of connective-tissue disease associated with breast implants with a 95 percent confidence level. While all surgeries carry specific risks, the medical community has not found that breast implants carry significantly higher risks than other surgeries.
Women may have heard the term capsular contracture discussed along with breast augmentations. Capsular contracture, or the formation of firm scar tissue around an implant, constitutes a natural part of the body’s healing pathway and occurs with all substances implanted into the body. This phenomenon can cause women to experience tightness, soreness and discomfort after their surgeries.
A surgeon’s technique, as well as the type of implant selected, can help minimise the occurrence of capsular contracture. (The phenomenon tends to occur less frequently with saline implants.) Massage in the early weeks after surgery and throughout the recovery period, according to doctor’s instructions, can stretch and soften this tissue and increase long-term comfort. Prescription medications will also limit post-surgery pain. While pain duration depends on many factors, for most patients, significant pain subsides within the first two weeks.
While certain methods of breast augmentation will have a greater effect on a woman’s ability to breastfeed than others, women can and do breastfeed their children after augmentations. A woman’s choice of implant location can mitigate these problems. Women who plan to breastfeed may elect to have a procedure which places their implants under chest muscle tissue which reduces the impact the implant may have on glandular tissue. Also, women can choose a procedure type which limits risks. Since incisions made near the areola could adversely affect breast glands, ducts and nerves — and potentially inhibit milk production and the breast’s ability to deliver it — women can select procedures which avoid areolar incisions.
Women also may have heard that breast implants last only ten years. While manufacturers typically warrant implants for ten years, this does not mean implants last only that long. While the risk of incidences such as leakage and rupture do increase after the first ten years of use, women do not need to replace their implants or have update surgeries unless they begin to experience problems. However, since the body continues to change as women get older, the size, shape and position of implants may not remain ideal viewed with their now older selves. Some women may opt to revisit their surgeries within the first ten years if they feel the implants no longer meet their expectations.
Myths and fear can frequently influence a woman’s decision to explore breast augmentation surgery. We encourage women to rely on their doctor’s experience as well as the most up-to-date information from the scientific community which your doctor can provide and help interpret. Thousands of women have safe, effective breast augmentations every year. Besides a high-level of overall satisfaction with their surgical experience, they enjoy increased confidence and a flaunt-worthy new bustline.
Professor Colin Moore — with his more than forty years of experience performing cosmetic enhancement surgeries — can produce the look women desire and deserve. To learn more about breast augmentation options and obtain a full, personalised consultation, call on 0414 251 234. Professor Moore and the Australian Centre for Cosmetic and Genital Surgery want women to look — and feel — their absolute best.