Breast Augmentation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Breast Augmentation a dangerous operation?
To answer this question let me tell you an actual conversation I recently had in office with a couple that wanted to know more about the operation. The husband was an airplane pilot and he asked me “can you warranty that everything will go well with my wife’s operation?” I answered the following : “ i fly with you as pilot, the sky is clear and all conditions are optimal, can you warranty that we will not crush?”.
What I want you to know is that although very unlikely in every surgery there are risks. The better informed you are about them the wiser your decision will be. Also you will be able to identify problems early and treat them more effectively. Complications are rare but can happen.Our effort is to minimize these risks but be afraid if a surgeon claims he or she is complication free. The only surgeon that doesn’t have complications is the one who doesn’t operate.
I have heard that breast implants can cause breast cancer…
There is no scientific proof to that claim. Breast cancer affects women equally independent of having breasts implants or not. Detection of breast cancer is easy as long as your radiologist is aware of your surgery.
Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
BIA-ALCL is a relatively new and very unusual medical condition, but one that is important for all patients with breast implants to know about. It is believed to be caused by the texturing on breast implants in some cases creates a chronic inflammatory process inside the chest cavity.
This can in turn lead to a gene mutation in the area with possible cancer as a result. The cancer cells are located in the capsule around the implant and are not aggressive. In other words, it rarely spreads to other parts of the body, as long as the capsule is removed. The main symptom is that your breast suddenly swells up, long after the surgery.
If this happens, consult your plastic surgeon. The swelling is caused by fluid accumulation in the breast, a so-called seroma. This occurs on average 9-10 years after surgery, in these cases.It is important to understand that this is not a case of breast cancer, but a cancer of the immune system. Should you be diagnosed with ALCL BIA, you most likely need to undergo a surgery to remove the capsule around the implant, which will also remove the cancer. The disease is as mentioned very rare, and exist today in 1 of over 50 000 patients with implants, according to available data.
Can the implants leak?
I only use FDA approved implants. Implants are devices, manmade. As all devices occasionally they fail. But even if they do there is no health risk as the gel that they have inside is cohesive. To put it simple its like a thick marmalade that will not loose its connection.
If there is a leak it is confined inside the capsule cavity. Most of the times the discovery of such a rupture is accidental during a routine ultrasound. It is confirmed with MRI. A surgical removal of the capsule with the implant is planned and the volume is restored with a new implant.
What is “capsule contracture”?
All women that choose to have a breast augmentation will form a capsule around the implant after a few months. This is a constant finding and its a natural reaction of our bodies against a foreign material. In a few of them though after some time this capsule will start to contract. We don’t know who is going to have capsular contracture or when it will happen. It is less than 8% and as our surgical methods and implants improve it will be reduced in the future.
There are various grades of capsular contracture. On Grade I there is just hardening of the implant, it doesn’t feel as soft and pliable as it used to. On Grade II there is a mild discomfort-pain for the patient. On Grade III there is visible alteration of breast looks.
The solution is to surgically remove the capsule and the implant and depending on patients wishes insert a new one. Although various techniques have been proposed to reduce capsular contracture incidence there is not yet a single best approach. One thing also to remember is that there is no “need” to change the implant every 6 or 10 years if its operating alright.
What is “rippling”?
Implants even modern cohesive ones are soft when touched. That is a very important feature otherwise they would feel strange if they were overfilled and hard. That means when squeezed or at certain positions, on can see ripples forming under the skin.
Rippling was a major problem with saline filled implants but still is at a lesser degree today with cohesive implants. It all has to do with implant size and cover. If a patient chooses a disproportionate implant to her frame, there will not be adequate thickness of skin and fat to surround the implant and ripples will be visible. Putting the implant under the pectoralis major muscle reduces implant visibility at the medial portion of the breast but doesn’t effect the lateral and lower part. Rippling is something to be expected on very thin patients but can be minimal if a cohesive implant of appropriate size is selected.
When can I get back to work? Gym?
When the implant is placed over the pectoralis muscle the recovery is relative quick. When it is placed under the muscle which is often what we surgeons choose then you can expect a few days of discomfort and full return to everyday activities in 5-7 days.
If you work is mostly manual then you should stay of work for a couple of weeks. Always remember that surgery is meant to produce a result for a long time, so pushing your recovery will not help on that. Plan your surgery on your less stressful time period for you and the people that will support you. As far as gym is concerned a 6 weeks off period is needed.
If you are one step before going into a plastic surgery book an appointment today with dr. FilGood!