Everything You Need to Know About Breast Implants

Blog - Everything You Need to Know About Breast Implants - model with breast implants looking away from camera

In one of my previous blog posts, I answered common questions about breast augmentation. In this post, I will answer some additional questions relating to breast implants that I often hear from patients at my San Antonio plastic surgery practice. If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation or have questions about your implants, I encourage you to read on to learn more.

If you are ready to schedule a breast augmentation consultation or have additional questions, please request a complimentary consultation or call (210) 942-6672 to schedule an appointment to learn more.

Does Breast Augmentation Improve Asymmetry?

Breast augmentation (augmentation mammoplasty) is surgery meant to increase your breast size by placing a breast implant under your breast tissue or your chest muscle. Breast implants can help correct asymmetries by adding extra volume to the smaller breast, resulting in a more symmetrical result. 

While breast implants can enhance your breast shape, breast augmentation can affect the balance of your body. During your consultation, I will discuss your implant options and will advise on the size and shape of the implants that will best suit your frame. Implants that are too large will look artificial and can cause sagging over time. Implants that are too small may feel disproportionate to your shape, resulting in a poor outcome and may require additional surgery to replace the implants with larger ones.

It is important to undergo a full examination and to discuss your aesthetic goals with your plastic surgeon before breast surgery to ensure you achieve your desired outcome.

Does Breast Augmentation Lift the Breasts?

A breast augmentation will not lift the breasts. Adding an implant in or under the sagging breast tissue will not cause any lifting, and may worsen the effects of sagging over time.

Women who have breast fed or who have experienced weight fluctuations often feel a loss of volume or deflated breast appearance.  For these patients, I usually recommend a breast lift with implants to restore the volume, shape, and reposition the breast on the chest.  

A breast lift works to reshape the breast, repositioning the nipples and breast tissue to restore a perkier shape, and the breast implants help restore lost volume in the breast.

Does a Breast Implant Go Above or Below the Muscle?

Implant position is one of the most important things I discuss with my breast augmentation patients.

To determine your implant placement position, we discuss the following factors during your consultation:

  • Your desired appearance/ aesthetic goals
  • Quality of the skin on your breasts
  • The thickness of your breast tissue
  • Your lifestyle

Implants that are placed below the muscle (subpectoral) can provide a more natural look and feel while also keeping them feeling soft longer. However, subpectoral implants may affect your fitness routine if you lift weights.   

How Do You Prevent Rippling in Breast Implants?

Rippling is due to the visibility of the folds of an implant shell. All breast implants (silicone and saline implants) can ripple, but silicone implants that use more cohesive silicone gel are less likely to ripple.

Women with low body fat and thin breast tissue have a higher chance of visible breast implant rippling.

Also, for women who have breast augmentation with implants placed above the muscle have less camouflage, and therefore, are more likely to experience breast implant rippling.

For women who have little breast tissue, fat transfer to the breast may be another option to camouflage the appearance of rippling by adding some additional fatty tissue to the breasts over the implants.

Do Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced?

In general, breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. Some surgeons consider implants to last 10 – 20 years. If you have breast implants, you can expect them to last for several years, but be aware that you can expect to replace them at some time.

Do Breast Implants Need to Be Monitored?

The FDA recommends having an initial MRI to monitor your silicone implants 5-6 years after breast augmentation surgery, and then having a follow-up MRI or breast ultrasound every 2-3 years to monitor the health of your breast implants.

Will Breast Implants Affect My Mammogram Results?

In addition to regular monitoring, it is important to have screening mammograms every year for patients over 40 years old. While implants will not affect the results of a mammogram, it is important to have regular screenings and to inform the mammogram specialist about your implants.

Patients with silicone implants may require specialized views during their screening mammograms.  

Do You Have to Replace Ruptured Silicone Breast Implants?

If you experience a ruptured silicone breast implant, it is not considered a medical emergency.  In fact, most patients may not even know their implant is ruptured or experience any symptoms.

However, if a silicone implant ruptures, it can cause scar tissue to develop around the implants which can cause pain, a change in breast firmness, or a change in the size and shape of the breasts, alerting you to a problem with your breast implants.

To prevent complications from implant rupture, I recommend regular screenings to check the health of your implants. If you have experienced a breast implant rupture, I recommend promptly scheduling a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options for having them removed and/or replaced.

Take the Next Step

If you have any additional questions about breast implants or are interested in breast augmentation in San Antonio, please request a complimentary consultation or call (210) 942-6672 to schedule an appointment. I look forward to meeting with you.

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