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Myths About Breast Augmentation & Breast Implants



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  • 1.  Breast implants are dangerous

There is always the chance of implants occasionally getting hard, distorted or causing local complications – and does need to be considered by every prospective patient.  However, every study, without exception has shown there is no association whatsoever between silicone gel filled breast implants and any systemic diseases.

In 2006 breast augmentation was the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure.  With anything to do with your body there is always going to be risks involved, so making an informed decision on whether this surgery is going to be right for you is so important.  Always do your research before any surgical procedure.




  • 2.  Silicone gel is currently unavailable

In 1992, the FDA put a moratorium on use of silicone gel filled implants – not because there was evidence they were dangerous – but because there was lack of evidence they were safe. That evidence is now available to prove that there is not any correlation whatsoever between silicone implants and the safety factor. 

Silicone implants are now currently for use for any patient who is over the age of 22. Also if the patient is below the age of 22 years and she needs breast reconstruction or treatment of a breast deformity – silicone is available for use for those specific cases.




  • 3.  The implant is always best placed below the muscle rather than over the muscle

Many patients have heard that placement of the implant is always best if the implant is placed below (sub-muscular) the muscle rather than sub-glandular (over the muscle).  This is far from the truth, as there are specific roles for both methods of placement. 

With four different choices  (completely under the muscle, partially under, over the muscle, or sub-fascia placement) there are pros and cons to each placement.  Everything is predicated on your own individual body type and the look you are trying to achieve.




  • 4.  There is a “best” incision approach

Incision approach depends on the implant that is chosen as well as the surgeons capabilities and methods. Certain implants have fewer incision options than others, and with that, it may have different and slightly larger scaring.  With saline implants the incision is going to be smaller as the implant is placed into the pocket that was made for the implant deflated, and once it is inserted then it is filled with saline through a tube.  With silicone, the larger you go with these pre-filled implants the larger the incision site is going to be. 

The breast implant incision placements are:




  • 5.  Implants rupture all of the time

Studies have shown implants are on the contrary, to be very strong. However, these implants are not to be meant to be lifetime devices – with an average lifespan of approximately between 10 – 16.4 years.  The older the implants are – the greater the risks of a rupture.

Saline breast implants gradually lose the saline that fills the implants because of filling port failure, shell perforation, creasing and material deterioration.

The reported deflation rate for saline implants is 7% at 7 years, according to the Institute of Medicine/and the FDA Breast Implants Handbook 2004.  It is also estimated that saline implants have a deflation ratio of 1 to 3% during the first year alone – and would slowly increase thereafter. 

The rate at 10 years for saline implants to rupture is approximately 5 to 10%.

Silicone however was less than 10% for ruptures at 5 years, and again that rate would slowly increase as time continued.

The interesting factor here is that there are many women who have had their original silicone breast implants for 25 + years and counting with no problems at all.




  • 6.  Any patient can have any shaped breasts

Each patient’s body is different and how implants are going to appear depends on what the person has going into this surgery.  Bringing photos to a consult is good to communicate to the Plastic Surgeon what size you would like approximately, however, you cannot bring in photos and say I want those breasts!  Your body is like an artist’s canvas……everyone is different and each one has their own set of flaws that the Plastic Surgeon has to work around.  




  • 7.  Breast implants will make your breasts sag earlier

With or without breast implants – a patient’s own body and its reaction to gravity, weight, and loss of elasticity as your skin ages contributes to breast sagging.  A natural breast of the same weight will show sagging just as much as an implant.  The best thing you can do is counter this with always wearing a good supportive bra as much as possible.




  • 8.  It is dangerous for women with breast implants to breastfeed

Although there are no current methods for detecting silicone levels in breast milk, there is convincing evidence that infants breast-fed by mothers with breast implants receive no higher silicon intakes from breast milk than infants breast-fed by mothers without breast implants. 

One concern with breast-feeding is that when the implants are inserted into the breast, the milk-ducts will be cut.  It is very important to relay this information to your Plastic Surgeon so that he might offer another incision approach so that the milk ducts will not be cut – (such as Trans-Ax incision)




  • 9You can get a fungus infection from a saline-filled breast implant 

This is a very rare situation, and there are no documented cases of a Plastic Surgeon removing implants that have been infected with fungus.   A fungal spore is too big to permeate the shell of the saline implant, and at one time it was thought that this process happened during the filling stages of saline implant.  Today this is completely impossible to happen, as Plastic Surgeons only fill the saline implants from a sterile bag of saline.  If the saline implant is completely sterile and has been handled appropriately during the surgical process then for something of this nature to occur is very rare. 




  • 10.  Saline-filled breast implants are safer than silicone gel-filled implants

Both saline and silicone implants are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Approval means that an implant has been rigorously researched and tested, and reviewed by an independent panel of physicians for safety. 




  • 11.   Silicone breast implants might leak out and spread through my body 

Today's silicone gel implants are much more cohesive than any liquid.  The particles found in the newer type of silicone implants are gelled together so that they move together as a sticky mass – not flowing like the older style silicone implant that appeared more like a liquid.  As a result, if the silicone implant should get a large tear or a rupture of its shell, the mass of silicone will sit inside the capsule that has formed around the implant. 

The silicone molecules are too big to permeate the capsule in which the implant sits.  If you should squeeze on a silicone implant that has been cut with scissors, it tends to bulge out of this opening only to be retracted back into the implant when pressure is removed.  Chemically speaking, we all have some silicone particles throughout our bodies in microscopic amounts due to a lifetime of expose to the element.  However; in studies that have been conducted, women with silicone breast implants today do not have substantially higher levels than those who do not have implants.    




  • 12.  Breast implants make it very difficult to detect breast cancer or women with breast implants can’t have mammograms

At age 35 and over mammograms are important to have done on a yearly basis.  Most technicians now are trained to work with women with breast implants and there has also now other forms of having a breast screening, such as a SonoCine.

The technicians know that more views of women with implants are needed for a mammogram analysis and that they also have to know how to manipulate the breast tissue to move the implant out of the way. 




  • 13.  The implant’s Silicon Elastomer Shell can make a patient sick

There are no proven tests available showing that silicone can physically make a patient sick.  The FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) allowed silicone shell breast implants back onto the market after many years of having them unavailable due to a moratorium.  The FDA has had the implant manufacturers submit many years of research proving silicone implants are indeed safe.  There are many other types of surgical implants that are made of silicone and seem to have no problems at all, including hip replacements, joints, chin and cheek implants. 

Actual silicone filled implants which has been under scrutiny for so many years - has failed to ever make any correlation to any form of autoimmune disease, as this has been studied and analyzed on hundreds of thousands of women.  This factor alone has been thoroughly evaluated and dispelled by the FDA, in which this is the main reason why they allowed silicone breast implants back onto the market.  Silicone breast implants are one of the most extensively studied medical devices in the history of mankind.   

There have been numerous claims against silicone breast implants and the fact that they did actually contribute to developing autoimmune diseases, however there has never been any foundation with these claims.  It has been stated that this rate of occurrence is no greater than that of women who have never had breast implants.

The facts are that autoimmune diseases occur in much higher numbers in women mostly in the same age ranges where breast augmentation is actually being performed (20-45 years). Autoimmune diseases are genetically linked by hereditary, and they tend to lay dormant in your system until there is some sort of trauma that is experienced by the body.  Any surgical procedure could make these symptoms active – so whether it is breast augmentation or gall bladder surgery, this disease becomes active when there has been something to compromise the body’s immune system.

All the studies and testing that has been performed on these devices has all concluded that silicone breast implants do NOT cause autoimmune diseases.  




  • 14.  Silicone breast implants become hard over time

Hardening of a breast implant is known as capsular contracture.  This is caused when the natural scar tissue around the implant start to thicken and get hard over a period of time.  Older style silicone breast implants were not as cohesive as today’s.  The silicone was very liquid, in which there was a significant amount of “gel bleed” from the actual implant shell.   It was this gel bleed that was thought of contributing to the formation of capsular constriction and the thickening of the capsule wall.  With the newer style silicone implants, the silicone is so cohesive that there is very minimal if any gel bleed anymore, thus lessening the chances of capsular constriction.  Not all silicone breast implants contribute to capsular constriction.




  • 15.  Your health insurance benefits will be denied or will be dropped if you have breast  implants. 

Health insurance will pay for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or a breast reduction Breast augmentation done for cosmetic reasons however, insurance will not pay.

Health insurance *might* pay for surgical removal of breast implants caused from a complication (severe capsular constriction), but will not pay for new implants if the patient elects to have this done, but this all has to do with what type of policy you have. 

The most proactive thing to do is to call your health insurance company and ask if having this surgery will affect the current policy.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Breast Implant Consumer Handbook, “For some women, companies may increase premiums, drop coverage, or deny future coverage following breast implant surgery or following complications from the breast implants or surgery. Policies on coverage may also change from year to year.”

It is always best to check with your individual policy and its limitations. 




  • 16.  Breast implants cause cancer 

Studies and data have NOT been able to link Breast Implants to Cancer.

The Institute of Medicine/FDA Website report clearly states that breast cancer is no more common in women with breast implants than those without breast implants. More information on cancer and breast implants is available at the National Cancer Institute website at:




  • 17.  Loss of sensation in the Areola/Nipple Complex  is associated with the peri-areola incision

Numbness or lack of feeling to the breast can occur with any incision site – if the nerves are stretched or cut.




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