Are Breast Implants Safe? Yes And Here’s Why

Like Goldilocks, some women think their breasts are too big. Others think they’re too small. And amazingly, a small minority of women think their breasts are just right. For women who want larger, fuller breasts, breast implants are a safe, highly successful way to get the breast size they’ve always wanted. 

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Breast Implants Are Not Lifetime Devices

Although there is no expiration date on breast implants, they are not lifetime devices. However, there is a common misconception that implants, whether saline or silicone, only need to be replaced if there is a problem with them. Even though a problematic issue with any implant should be addressed immediately, it is just as crucial for women with breast implants to have regular check-ups to monitor their breast health.

As part of a routine physical check-up, it is important for a health professional to do breast exams regularly. Breast exams should be scheduled every three years for women over the age of 20 and yearly for women over the age of 40. The examination will focus on any changes in shape, size, or symmetry of the breasts, along with any skin changes such as rashes, redness, or dimpling. With or without implants, regular check-ups are crucial for early detection of breast cancer and other abnormalities.

Unfortunately, there are a number of complications that can arise with having breast implants, requiring the patient to undergo a second breast augmentation. Among these complications are implant rupture and capsular contracture.

A rupture is a tear or a hole in the outer shell of the breast implant that causes it to leak. As time goes on, the risk of implant rupture increases. With saline implants, the body typically absorbs the saltwater solution, which leaves the saline implant deflated and causes an obvious change in size and firmness of the breast. Silicone ruptures vary in that the gel is thicker and may remain in the shell or the scar tissue that forms around the implant. Silicone implant ruptures may be undetectable to the human eye, which is why periodic MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) are important. In both cases, the ruptured implant should be replaced.

Capsular contracture is another complication that will lead to implant replacement. This occurs when there is a hardening in the tissue surrounding the implant in one or both of the breasts. Sometimes, this hardening can be painful. Although the cause of capsular contracture is unknown, it may happen at any time after the primary procedure.

Therefore, given there are no complications, breast implants typically last between 10-15 years and replacement should be considered. Aside from the natural gravitational pull that will cause breast implants to sag, other operations may also be considered as time lapses. This may include changing the size of implant or a lift in the breasts. Considering the individual needs of each patient, a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon will determine when replacement is best.

If your desire is to achieve beautiful breasts through augmentation or if you are considering breast implant replacement, Dr. Samuel J. Beran offers many different types of cosmetic surgery procedures to provide you with healthy, natural looking results. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Beran, please call us at (212) 792-7938 or fill out our contact form.

Even More Interesting Facts About Breasts

We’ve already talked about 10 fun and fascinating things you may not know about breasts, but there are still more! With so much to be discovered about these features of the female chest, it’s no wonder that breasts are so popular. Here are some more interesting facts regarding breasts that many people are unaware of:

  • Unlike most primates’ breasts that only increase in size when lactating, human breasts often begin to grow before menstruation and generally maintain their size after menopause and whether lactating or not.
  • The breasts contain around 20 milk glands that are connected to milk ducts inside the nipple, which are held together with connective and fatty tissues.
  • Brain scan data showed that when women’s nipples were stimulated, the area of the brain that corresponds to the genitals was also stimulated. Some women can actually orgasm just from nipple stimulation.
  • The world’s largest natural breasts belong to Norma Stitz (born Annie Hawkins-Turner). Her bra size is 102ZZZ, and it seems her clever pseudonym is quite appropriate.
  • By the middle of the 20th century the majority of women had abandoned breastfeeding and instead fed their babies formula from bottles. Fortunately, the medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding have been confirmed, and now the majority of women follow the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and breastfeed their babies.
  • Within the last few years there has been an explosion of women employing wet nurses to breastfeed their children, and many milk-sharing networks have been established for women who are unable to breastfeed.
  • Perfectly symmetrical breasts are very rare. In fact, the majority of women have a size difference of up to 20 percent between breasts.
  • There are at least four types of nipples: “normal” nipples protrude a few millimeters from the areolas, “flat” nipples only protrude when they’re stimulated, “puffy” nipples have raised areolas, and “inverted” nipples have turned inward to some degree.

If you are interested in a procedure to enhance the appearance of your breasts, Dr. Samuel Beran is highly skilled in a wide variety of procedures. He is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and can provide healthy, natural-looking results. Please call (212) 792-7938 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your consultation today.

Can Breast Implants Cause Cancer?

There have always been questions regarding the safety of breast implants: Can they be harmful if they leak? Do silicone implants cause a greater health risk than saline breast implants? Can breast implants cause cancer? This last question is one that has been increasingly popular in recent years due to some related cases of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a very rare type of cancer, and breast implants. In a recent U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) press release, it is reported that there is a possible association between saline and silicone gel filled breast implants and this type of cancer. Usually found in the lymph nodes and skin, those who have been diagnosed with ALCL typically have undergone breast implant surgery.

However, these findings are still being further investigated in order to learn more regarding the source of the cancer. The FDA is asking all healthcare professionals to report any cases of diagnosis and urge patients to be aware of any changes to their breasts after surgery. There are 60 cases worldwide; however, some of these may be duplicate reports and there may still be some that have not been reported. In any case, it is important to always be cautious when considering breast enhancement surgery. Be sure to ask of the risks related to this procedure in order to be better prepared should you experience any complications.

At my practice, patients may anticipate a safe and professional environment. Along with my staff, I am fully dedicated to patient education and safety throughout your entire procedure. Feel free to browse my site to learn more regarding breast augmentation and to schedule an appointment.