In this section of our website, I would like to address a few common misconceptions that patients often have about breast augmentation surgery. If you have any further questions or would like more information about this procedure, I would be happy to meet with you in a consultation and address any of your concerns.
MYTH: Silicone gel implants are unsafe, and have been linked to cancer and connective tissue disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Hawner: All breast implants, either saline or silicone filled, have been extensively studied medical devices. To date there has been no study from any agency including the National Cancer Institute, the Institute of Medicine, the National Science Panel and multiple independent review groups that linked these medical devices to any health consequence. Both saline and silicone gel filled breast implants are approved for use in the U.S. by the F.D.A. Safety and the long-term health of patients are a top priority for both patient and doctor.
MYTH: Breast implants can prevent or inhibit a woman’s ability to breast feed or adversely affect breast milk.
Dr. Hawner: Many women think they must wait to have breast augmentation if they want to breast feed their baby. There is no medical evidence stating that breast implants either impair a woman’s ability to breast feed or in any way harm the quality of the mother’s milk. These findings are strongly supported by the National Institute of Health 1999 IOM report on the safety of breast implants. So, a woman can have breast augmentation and still enjoy the experience of breastfeeding her baby.
MYTH: Implants have to be replaced every few years.
Dr. Hawner: Breast implants are not meant necessarily to be lifetime devices, but definitely do not require periodic replacement unless there is a problem with the implant. All patients with breast implants should be evaluated for implant integrity every 10-15 years. Many factors can influence a patient’s decision of how to treat an implant problem, including the patient’s age, type of implant, and goals. All of which will be considered during a thorough consultation with the plastic surgeon.
MYTH: “I want to look just like her!”
Dr. Hawner: The results of a breast augmentation surgery are as unique and individual as the woman requesting the surgery herself. Many factors, such as the patient’s body size, implant size and type, and placement of the implant all play a role in the final outcome. A woman should convey her desired outcome to her plastic surgeon while keeping in mind that a request to look like another person is not a realistic goal. However, getting the best possible outcome for each patient is always the goal of our practice.
MYTH: With implants, I will have to change my lifestyle or not participate in certain activities.
Dr. Hawner: The recovery period after breast augmentation is usually very brief! During that time, activity is limited to promote proper healing, and these guidelines are outlined for the patient prior to surgery. However, once that brief recovery period has ended, a woman with breast implants is able to resume her normal active life including exercise, sports and work. Scuba diving, horseback riding, and even kickboxing can be done without compromising the integrity of the implants.