The Rosato Plastic Surgery Center
Friday, January 29, 2016
Breast implant myths and useful information
Implants and breast cancer
Breast implants do not cause breast cancer. The breast implant is placed under the breast tissue and often under the chest muscle as well. Women with breast implants do have the same chance of getting breast cancer as women that do not have implants. In many studies of women with breast implants, breast cancers are found at an early stage as compared to women without implants. The earlier a breast cancer is found the better the cure rate. A small group of women have a gene that predisposes them to breast cancer. Women can get their genes tested to see if they have this gene. Angelina Jolie had the breast cancer gene and she decided to have her breast tissue removed and replaced with implants to reduce her risk of cancer.
Implants and Mammogram
Mammograms are recommended with breast implants. The usual mammogram has two views of the breast. If you have breast implants a third view is done to visualize the breast completely. Using the three view technique allows doctors to exam 95% of the breast. Women with breast implants often have their cancers diagnosed at an early stage. This is probably due to an increased awareness of the breast in women with implants.
Breast augmentation and pregnancy
With pregnancy the breast will get larger, and usually the areola will enlarge as well. Some or all of these changes will reverse after pregnancy and breast feeding is completed. After breast augmentation, the breast is enlarged and the areola also may get wider. How your breast will react to an augmentation depends on your skin qualities. Some women can develop stretch marks after augmentation just as you can develop stretch marks after pregnancy or weight gain. Implants do not interfere with breast feeding. You can breast feed if you have implants. If you have implants and then get pregnant the shape of the breast may change and you may require additional surgery to restore your shape. However, most patients after having a baby do not require additional surgery.
When is the best time to have a breast augmentation?
There is no ideal time to have a breast augmentation. It is important to wait until the breast is fully developed before augmentation. If you are losing weight and your breast is getting smaller your final size is most predictable if your weight is stable. So it would be better to wait until your weight is stable before augmentation. Saline implants are available to women 18 years old and older. Silicone implants are available to women 22 years old and older.
Do I have to exchange my implants every ten years?
No, this is a common misconception that arises from the implant company warranty.
Most implants do not last forever and you may require additional surgery to modify or replace the implant. The implant company has a warranty that will replace your implant if it leaks at any time. The company will also pay a fee toward the cost of surgery to replace your implant if it leaks within the first 10 years. Dr. Rosato recommends you get a check-up at any time you feel your breast augmentation has changed in shape or softness. Older silicone implants (not cohesive gel) can have a problem with silicone leaking and gel moving into the breast tissue and lymph nodes. We recommend a check up to access the status of these older implants
Can I dive or fly after breast augmentation?
Once your surgery has healed you can dive and fly at any time. The pressure of diving does not impact your implant at all. However, cold or hot temperatures will be transferred to the implants. So your implants will heat up in a hot tub and get cold on deep dives. Once your surgery has healed your restriction on activity are without limits.
Can squeezing the implants cause them to burst?
No, any pressure that feels ok on the breast will not damage the implants. However trauma from an auto accident or a severe fall may injure the implants. It is best to be checked if you have any concerns after an incident.
Saline or silicone which is better, safer?
Today’s silicone implants are made with cohesive gel. The gel has the properties similar to a gummy bear candy. The gel is soft and stays connected. This is in contrast to the older gel implants that had gel that was very fluid. Saline and silicone implants have the same plastic outer shell. The shell is a solid silicone plastic that holds the saline or cohesive silicone gel. If a saline implant leaks the saline is absorbed into the body and the breast flattens out and the implant requires replacement. If a cohesive gel implants leaks the gel tends to stay together and usually no change is seen or felt in the breast. It is recommended that all implants be replaced if it is found to be leaking. If there is a question as to whether or not the gel implants are leaking then a MRI can be used to access the implants status.