5 Things you always wanted to know about Breast Implants

Thinking about boosting your bra size with augmentation? With so many types of breast implants available, you probably have lots of questions. Do implants last forever? Are some types safer than others?  Do breast implants interfere with mammograms or breast feeding down the line?  What happens if I am not happy with the results?

These are just some of the common queries asked by prospective patients. Dr. B. Aviva Preminger, a plastic surgeon in New York City, answers some frequently asked questions about breast augmentation and recovery.

How long do breast implants last?

Breast implants, whether silicone, saline or gummy bear, are not designed to last forever. However, there is no “shelf-life” or expiration date either. Studies have shown that implants have a higher likelihood of failure after 10 years. This doesn’t mean that implants will rupture or leak after a decade, as many have lasted upwards of 15 to 20 years. That said, the rate of complications tends to increase the longer the implants remain in the body. The best way to detect rupture, contracture or scar tissue build-up is to schedule routine medical check-ups and breast scans.

Which breast implants are safest?

According to studies by the FDA, both saline and silicone breast implants are safe for long-term use, and there is virtually no difference in terms of complication rates between the two.  Clinical studies on form-stable, or “gummy bear implants,” showed low rates of capsular contracture and silicone diffusion. At present, the medical community recommends that breast implant patients have an MRI three years after implantation, and every 2 years thereafter.

Will implants compromise mammogram results?

Before having a mammogram, it’s crucial to tell the technician you have breast implants so additional images can be taken. Examining a breast with a saline or silicone implant placed in front of the pectoralis muscle can be more challenging because the implant can obscure part of the tissue. The radiologist may need to position the breast differently in order to get a full scan. Breast implants that are placed behind the chest muscle do not present as many problems. Some women may benefit from an MRI and a breast ultrasound, when screening for evidence of cancerous tumors.

Can I breast feed after getting implants?

Yes, the vast majority of women who have had augmentation with implants are able to breast feed. According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, silicone does not affect breast milk or pose any health dangers. However, the location of the implants and incisions may affect milk production.  Incisions around the nipples may reduce nerve response and implants placed above the chest muscle may put undue pressure on glands, impeding milk flow.

When will my breast implants look normal?

In the days and weeks following breast augmentation, your new bust line may look and feel decidedly odd. Do not panic if your breasts seem like torpedoes. They will drop into a more natural position, but this takes time. Many patients are worried because their new breasts look too high, too big or too conical immediately after surgery. Rest assured that this is not permanent. It may take 4-6 months before the implants begin to look and feel more natural.

NYC breast augmentation surgeon

Given the many variables in selecting breast implants, it’s best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who can outline options given your specific goals.

Manhattan plastic surgeon Dr. B. Aviva Preminger is renowned for her artistic vision and natural breast implant results. Schedule a private consult today by calling 212.706.1900.

Additional Information on Breast Implants:

  1. Reader’s Digest, 13 Breast Implant Questions You’ve Been Too Embarrassed to Ask, http://www.rd.com/health/beauty/questions-about-breast-implants/
  2. Plastic Surgery.com, BREAST IMPLANTS FAQ https://plasticsurgery.com/breast-implants-faq/
  3. Women’s Health Magazine, 6 Things You Should Know About Boob Jobs—From Women Who’ve Had Them http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/boob-job-need-to-know/
  4. What to Expect, Is It Possible to Breastfeed With Implants? https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/breastfeeding-with-implants