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The Top 10 Breast Augmentation Myths

Fri, 04/13/2012 - 10:27am

According to Dr. John Anastasatos, Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

(PRNewswire) Fifty years have passed since the first breast augmentation was performed in 1962 and yet the public still has wrongful information and many misconceptions about this most popular cosmetic operation. In my Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery practice specializing in breast augmentation I hear the following 10 myths daily.

1. Breast implants must be changed every 10 years.

False. There is no medical necessity for breast implants to be replaced every 10 years. Breast implants should be replaced when there is a problem or the patient desires a change.

2. Saline breast implants are safer than silicone ones.

False. Saline implants were largely used because silicone implants were thought to cause medical problems. That was never proven to be true. Today silicone breast implants are preferred by plastic surgeons and patients.

3. Under the muscle is better than over the muscle.

False. The practice of placing breast implants under the pectoralis major muscle depends on individual breast anatomy and the type of breast implants selected. Some patients get better results with the breast implants under the pectoralis major muscle while others over the muscle.

4. Textured breast implants can prevent capsular contracture (scar tissue) formation.

False. Textured means that the breast implant surface is rough. The rough surface causes a mild inflammation and helps the implant to adhere to the tissues. This was thought to decrease the incidence of capsular contracture but was never proven to be true.

5. Breast implants cause cancer.

The information we have up to date does not support such claim.  This year is the 50th anniversary since the first breast augmentation. If breast implants caused cancer we would know by now. There has been a recent report that a type of lymphoma was found on the capsule surrounding breast implants in some women with prior breast augmentation. This does not mean that in those people the lymphoma was caused by the presence of the breast implants. Apart from this recent report there has never been any association between silicone gel or saline-filled breast implants with any cancer in the body.

6. You cannot breast feed after you have had a breast augmentation.

False.  When a breast augmentation is done via an incision through the inframammary fold, armpit, or belly button there is not usually a problem with breast-feeding.

7. I will lose breast or nipple sensation if I get a breast augmentation.

False. If the breast augmentation is done via an incision in the breast fold, then on the contrary women's nipple sensitivity may be heightened.

8. You need breast implants for a breast lift.

False. Breast implants are not a treatment for breast sagginess. Only a breast lift (mastopexy) corrects sagginess.

9. Darker skinned people are prone to darker, thicker and more visible scars.

False. Black, Latin, Indian and southern European patients often believe this to be true. It is not. The color of the skin does not affect the wound healing process and thus does not affect the eventual look of an incision.

10. Natural breast augmentation with fat is better.

False. Talking a person's own fat with liposuction and adding it to the breasts may create future problems because some of the fat transferred will perish within a year.

John Anastasatos, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

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