Thinking about undergoing a breast enlargement, revision or lift?
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments, accounting for 15.8% of the world’s cosmetic surgical procedures. Chances are you know someone who has had implants or a lift. You’ve probably read plenty of information and advice on the internet, and you may have already consulted with a cosmetic practitioner.
But there are several facts about your breast augmentation surgery that you’re likely not to know. This information isn’t often shared on websites and online forums, nor is it commonly disclosed by cosmetic practitioners or plastic surgeons.
To ensure you have all the information about undergoing breast augmentation surgery, we want to share the top 10 things you may not know about the procedure.
- You’ll need more than one operation
Unfortunately, breast implants aren’t designed to last even if that’s what your surgeon implies. A large percentage of implants leak after ten years, so for your health and well-being, they’ll need to be replaced periodically.
- There’s a high chance scar tissue will grow
In up to 80 percent of cases, patients will grow scar tissue around the implants. For some, this scar tissue won’t be obvious, but for others it can cause the breasts to become firm and even painful to touch. This is known as capsular contracture and treated through a capsulotomy procedure to remove the scar tissue. However, even after the scar tissue has been removed there is no guarantee it won’t grow back.
- Multiple breast surgeries can increase internal scarring
Revision breast surgery needs to be performed carefully as multiple surgeries increases your risk of internal scarring. Why is internal scarring serious? Internal scarring can impair the blood supply which can have a huge impact on how well you heal from the surgery. It’s vital an experienced surgeon is performing the breast augmentation to help reduce your risk.
- You may not get the desired results with a belly button to breast augmentation
In the 90’s Trans-Umbilical Breast Augmentation was very popular as a quick way to enlarge breasts through a small incision in the belly button. However, that’s not the case anymore. With the shift to silicone implants it was difficult to fit them into such a small incision without more pressure than the manufacture’s advised. Additionally, the blunt technique that was used and with the surgeon working a distance from the breast, it didn’t produce as good a result as traditional breast augmentation surgery.
- Teardrop implants often move out of place
Teardrop breast implants mimic the natural breast shape with the implant having more fullness in the lower half. This shape of implant is often advised for those with lower body fat, lower positioned nipples or patients who are seeking a natural look.
While they may produce a natural appearance which is preferable, they are more difficult to position than round implants and are prone to moving. If they are displaced, you’ll require revision surgery to correct the position. If round implants move on the other hand, the shape of your breasts won’t be affected.
- Breast augmentation with fat has less complications and is more natural
Breast augmentation using the patient’s own fat is increasing in popularity due to the natural results and the reduced risk of complications. As a bonus, patients are also able to remove some of the fat from a region of their own body such as thighs or buttocks to increase their breast size.
Although breast augmentation using fat instead of implants is a popular technique, there are some facts that you should keep in mind. Firstly, there’s no guarantee the fat placed in your breasts will survive the transfer. If the fat doesn’t survive you may need revision surgery and the dead fat cells can cause calcifications which may be difficult to access and can be confused with cancerous cells.
Secondly, you are limited with the amount of fat that can be injected into the breast so you may only be able to increase your breasts by one or two cup sizes. This is because the more fat you transfer, the greater the incidence of fat necrosis.
Thirdly, the overall appearance of breast augmentation with fat is subtler than using implants. If you’re looking for perkier, fuller and more youthful breasts, implants may be more suitable.
- Breast implants require monitoring
As there is a risk of silent rupturing of the implant, it is recommended you continually monitor your breasts after the surgery. The only way to detect a leak is through a MRI screening. Depending on your individual circumstance, this may or may not be covered by health insurance.
- Breast implants can potentially mask breast cancer
Even with the latest and most sophisticated imaging technology, there is a potential breast cancer can be masked by the breast implants. This is because the position of the implants can cover some of the breast tissue. Where the implant is positioned under the pectoralis muscles, up to 15 percent of the tissue is covered. This is higher when the implant is position over the muscle, thus the chance of the cancer being missed is greater.
While the statistics reveal women with breast implants experience a lower incidence of breast cancer, this is simply due to the fact they are typically monitored more regularly.
- You may not be able to breastfeed
Breast augmentation surgery with implants may slightly reduce your ability to breastfeed. However, many women with implants have gone on to successfully breastfed their infants without any complication.
- Larger implants come with greater complications
Bigger is not always better in the world of breast implants. Surgeons who agree to insert breast implants larger than what is suitable for the individual are often met with greater complications such as rippling and skin stretching. This will eventually result in breasts looking deformed and will require revision surgery.
As a general rule, the bigger the breast implants, the sooner you’ll require a breast lift. Breast lift surgery is a more involved surgery than an augmentation and will result in more visible scarring. Ensuring the size of the implants are suitable for your body type is important to avoid or postpone this surgery.