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Ayman R. Hakki, MD
Breast Implants: Fact and Fiction
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Breast Implants: Fact and Fiction

Is going bigger better? For many women the answer to this daunting question is a whooping, yes. Breast augmentation is surgery, and like every surgery it comes with its risks (www.fda.gov). Yet in spite of the price tag it carries, the potential complications and the possibility of revisional surgery, 95% of females who undergo breast augmentations are satisfied with their result.

In light of this vigorous demand for going bigger, I have compiled my own list of fact and fiction on a procedure that has been with us for hundreds of years and has become a big part of our culture:

Fact: Women who undergo breast augmentation experience improved sexual satisfaction. This is a phenomenon that has been reported in almost 80% of women with breast implants. A significant improvement in sexuality has also been reported in women who did not have poor sexual functions prior to having breast augmentation.

Fiction: You can’t breast feed with breast implants. As a matter of fact if you have breast implants you should be happy to know that most likely you can still breast feed your baby. Although every woman is different, you have to first see if breastfeeding works for you. If it does, then breast implants and breast feeding has a lot to do with the manner in which the implants were placed. Most plastic surgeons adopt an approach to the placement of their incision resulting in little or less nerve or duct damage keeping your chances at breast feeding at a maximum.

Fact: The FDA has put restrictions on the age minimum for breast augmentation. Taking into consideration the fact that young women’s breast continue to develop through their teens, the FDA approved breast implants for augmentation in women ages 18 and older. Another contributing factor to setting an age minimum for acquiring breast implants is the concern for the degree of maturity required to make such an informed decision.

Fiction: Women opt to have a breast augmentation to please a partner. Studies show that very few women opt to have a breast augmentation to attract a partner while the most common reason women choose larger breasts is for the sole purpose of feeling better about themselves and their bodies.

Fact: “Gummy Bear” implants are the new more cohesive silicone gel breast implants. Exclusive to Sientra, these gummy implants are filled with a high-strength cohesive silicone that holds together uniformly, helps maintain the shape of the implant and has a feel similar to breast tissue.

Fiction: Breast implants last forever. Breast implants don’t last forever and if you have a breast augmentation chances are over your life time you will need additional surgeries. Regardless of whether you opted for saline or silicone implants, many factors can play a role in your need for further surgeries. Breast hardening, rippling, asymmetry to name a few or just plain poor cosmetic results contribute to the fact that breast implants don’t last forever.

Anecdotal fact: Implants protect you from dying? There has been one reported case where a woman was shot in the chest but saved by her silicone implants. According to the treating doctor on the scene, the implants prevented the bullet from reaching a vital organ and causing serious damage to the victim.

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