Here in California, breast augmentation is pretty common. If you think California is the #1 breast augmentation state, you’re probably not alone – but you’re wrong. That honor goes to Utah, which has (perhaps surprisingly) the highest rate of breast augmentations per capita.
And with regards to breast implants, I guarantee you have some other misconceptions. Allow me to demonstrate:
- True or false? Silicone breast implants are dangerous.
If you answered “true,” you definitely need to read this post.
I spoke with Dr. Wayne Yamahata, a board-certified plastic surgeon offering breast augmentation in Sacramento (the capital of the Golden State) to debunk 5 common myths about breast augmentation.
Myth 1: Breast implants are fake looking.
This is by far the most common misconception about breast augmentation. The idea that your breast implants have to look over-the-top simply isn’t true. In fact, according to Dr. Yamahata, the increased demand for natural looking breasts has forced breast implant manufacturers to create more breast implant sizes, shapes, profiles, and textures. Whereas 30 years ago you simply picked your size and chose between saline or silicone, now, you have many more decisions to make. Do you want smooth or textured implants? Round or teardrop shaped? Today’s breast implant choices aren’t simply about cup size, you are customizing the implant type that will give you precisely the look you want.
Myth 2: You have to replace your implants every 10 years.
Many women avoid breast augmentation because they think they will need to replace their implants frequently. The truth is, breast implants are not lifetime devices. The longer you have breast implants, the more likely that you will need to have them replaced. That being said, you don’t need to replace your implants unless they rupture, you have a complication, or you want to change the size or style of your implant.
The 10-year rule likely refers to the manufacturer’s warranty, meaning if something happens to your implants after the warranty runs out, you may end up paying for a second surgery. But most surgeons, including Dr. Yamahata, don’t recommend changing your implants if nothing is wrong. Some women keep their original implants their entire lives without ever needing a subsequent surgery.
Myth 3: Silicone implants aren’t as safe as saline implants.
Both silicone and saline implants are approved by the FDA for safety, and modern silicone implants have an excellent safety record. The reason this myth came about is because early types of silicone implants (think 1980s) were not as solid as those made today. So, when they did leak, silicone escaped into the body. But now, silicone implants are made of a cohesive gel that doesn’t ooze if the implant ruptures. They are sometimes referred to as gummy bear implants because they have the consistency and cohesiveness of gummy bears.
Myth 4: You can’t breastfeed with them.
Women with breast implants can and do breastfeed their children. Breast implants pose no risk to your child, but certain factors can make breastfeeding easier – including where your implants are placed and your incision location.
Typically, implants placed under the muscle are less likely to disturb your mammary glands and milk ducts. This can make it easier to breastfeed because there’s less pressure on the glandular tissue than with over-the-muscle implants.
Incisions made remotely, such as through the armpit or belly button, are also less likely to influence breastfeeding because these locations avoid damage to the nerves of the nipple or areola. Inframammary incisions (those made in the breast crease) are also compatible with breastfeeding.
Women with incisions around the areola are at a slightly higher risk of having difficulty breastfeeding as a few minor ducts, glands, and nerves were likely injured during surgery. This may mean that you have a slight decrease in milk production or that your nipples have difficulty releasing milk. Still, this does not mean you can’t successfully breastfeed.
Myth 5: Getting breast augmentation makes you superficial.
Breast augmentation is a personal decision. Some women want to correct a breast deformity. Others may need reconstruction after a mastectomy. And some just want to look and feel better. Whatever the reason, having breast augmentation does not make you superficial. It’s a way to enhance your breast volume, improve symmetry, reduce sagging, and improve shape. And yes, it’s a confidence booster to boot. Tell the body shamers to back off, and do what makes you happy.