4 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Breast Augmentation

As board certified plastic surgeons specializing in breast augmentation, our days are literally filled with news, discussion, and practice of this popular cosmetic procedure. When we are not performing surgery, consulting with a patient, or helping her choose breast implants, we are either furthering my research, attending surgeons’ conferences, or leading seminars about the latest techniques in breast surgery.

There are many facts about the procedure that we take for granted but that our Atlanta breast augmentation patients are often surprised to learn. We thought we’d share a few of the more interesting bits of info with you now. If you’re considering breast augmentation for yourself, we hope you’ll find this insider information helpful. If you’re not, perhaps these fascinating facts about breast implants will come in handy for trivia night. Enjoy!

1. Today’s “5th generation” silicone implants can withstand up to 300 lbs. of pressure

Many patients ask us what it would take to break a breast implant: can contact sports, a car accident, a mammogram, or an overzealous partner cause a rupture? If your implants are in good shape—that is, the shell is not compromised due to age of the implant—the answer is probably no. Today’s breast implants are extremely durable, and can withstand tremendous amounts of pressure before rupturing: about 175 pounds for saline, and up to 300 or so for silicone gel. This is far more pressure than a mammogram comes even close to applying.

As durable as they are, no breast implant can last forever. Ruptures do occur occasionally, and the risk for rupture increases with implant age, particularly after the 10 year mark. That said, many women have had the same implants for two decades or more, so the best way to know if your breast implants need to be replaced is by maintaining a relationship with your plastic surgeon. They will keep you abreast of implant news and can let you know if they think yours are due for replacement.

If you do experience a rupture, the good news is it is not usually a medical emergency. Saline filling is safely absorbed by the body, and today’s silicone gel implant filling is designed to remain in the implant shell and almost never migrates outside the breast capsule. Just be sure to contact your doctor, and they’ll be able to guide you.

2. We may never even touch your breast implants during surgery

“How is that possible?!?,” you may ask. Here’s how: the Keller Funnel. This deceptively simple device looks like a pastry bag—and also works somewhat like one, in that we will squeeze a silicone gel implant out the small end into the breast pocket during surgery—but it offers multiple benefits for your safety, comfort and results:

  • Dramatically reduced infection risk. The implant can go straight from its sterile packaging, to the sterile Keller Funnel, to your breast without anyone touching it or the inside of your breast. Even though a reputable plastic surgeon changes gloves multiple times during surgery, eliminating glove-to-implant contact further reduces risks.
  • A quicker, more comfortable recovery. A hands-off approach also means there’s less poking and prodding of breast tissue during surgery, which can reduce post-op swelling, bruising and tenderness and help you heal more quickly.
  • Smaller incisions, smaller scars. Squeezing the implant through the smaller opening of the Keller Funnel allows us to place the implant more precisely through a shorter incision compared to surgery without this tool.

Despite these benefits, not every plastic surgeon is trained in the Keller Funnel, so it’s worth asking during your consultations if that surgeon uses it. Additionally, it’s only an option for silicone gel implants—saline implants and gummy bears must be placed by hand.

3. Breast augmentation has gotten over 200%* more popular over the last 20 years

Breast augmentation isn’t going out of style any time soon. In fact, more patients each year choose to have the procedure, regardless of changing trends for the “ideal” body shape. A likely reason why: most women who have breast augmentation do so for personal reasons that have nothing to do with looking “perfect” or keeping up with fashion.

The top reasons my patients state for wanting breast augmentation are (in no particular order):

  • To balance out their upper and lower body proportions
  • To help them feel more like themselves
  • So clothing will fit them better
  • To correct significant asymmetry

The moral of the story is that breast augmentation can improve more than one’s outward appearance—it can improve a patient’s self-confidence and quality of life.

4. It’s fairly easy to have breast augmentation and keep it a secret

The only people who ever need know about your procedure are: your plastic surgeon, your operating room team, and yourself. While you will need a trusted adult to drive you to and from the surgery center for your procedure, and care for you the first 24 hours, this can be a hired home-care nurse if you prefer.

If you’re worried about your boss and coworkers finding out, consider this: most patients return to an office job within 3 to 5 days after breast augmentation. That’s a long weekend or short vacation—and all your employer needs to know is that you are taking a few days off for R&R. When you return to work, a stylish scarf or high-necked, relaxed-fit blouse is usually all that’s needed to avert unwanted attention (a new haircut can work wonders as a distractionary tactic too!) Just keep in mind that before you drive anywhere, you’ll need to be completely off prescription pain meds.

Want more breast augmentation facts? Come in for a consultation.

We hope these facts have been interesting and helpful to you! If you have questions about breast implants or are considering your options for breast augmentation in Atlanta, please contact us at The Swan Center! We offer complimentary consultations for cosmetic surgery patients, and we will be glad to help you learn more about your options to enhance your breasts.

*Source: https://www.surgery.org/sites/default/files/ASAPS-Stats2016.pdf

2 Comments Posted to "4 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Breast Augmentation"

  • November 26, 2018 at 10:51 pm • Posted by Anonymous | Reply

    This was a fascinating article to read through; after all, my wife has been considering breast augmentation for a little while and it is really interesting to see how it has changed over the past couple of years. I am especially surprised to learn that there is a way to do the surgery without touching the implants. It is really nice to know that since it can help to reduce the chances of an infection.

  • December 3, 2021 at 12:22 am • Posted by Babs Miles | Reply

    This is a huge decision for me, but I must replace my implants due to their hardness & unnatural feel. I’ve had them for approximately 17 years & was done for asymmetrical reasons. Would I be considered for this procedure even though I’m 78 now. I’m petite, agile, I actively dance but I have had an Aorta Valve replacement this January will be two years of recovery. I’m experiencing pain & uncomfortableness. An accident involving a heavy box falling on my right breast had me lying down with cold gel packs off & on for two days occurred about two months ago.
    Most people, in general assume I’m between 50-55 years of age. I’m on the heart healthy diet & don’t smoke or drink.
    I do however often win best dancer on the floor when I go out !! LOL

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