What do I need to know about breast implants?

Breast Implants

When you are considering a breast lift, breast augmentation or breast implants (same as augmentation) the first thing you usually think about is which size do you go for, and what the cost will be? You might do a bit of research about what sort of implants to have (hopefully you do!) and recovery time. However, there are so many other things you should know about breast augmentations before making the final decision to have one, and before you undergo the surgery.

How long do Breast Implants last?

Breast implants do not last forever. In the past, the average life span of implants was estimated at 10 years; however the good quality implants available in Australia do not have a use-by-date. They probably will last for over 20 years in most cases. Rarely, if they have been roughly treated or damaged, they may rupture sooner though this is not common. Implants from some of the cheaper brands may have a shorter lifespan. You may have heard that after receiving implants you will require routine investigations such as ultrasound or MRI – these tests would only be ordered if there has been a change such as capsular contracture, breast pain or distortion.

Breast implants can be placed under or over your muscle!

It’s true! Depending on your body, your surgeon and which type of implants you choose, you can have the implants placed under or over the pectoral (pectorals major) muscle. You should speak with your surgeon to identify the best scenario for you.

Is what you see straight after surgery the final result?

No. Breast implants/augmentations take a while to settle into their final position. What you look like straight after surgery, then one or two weeks later, will probably be different to how you look around 2 months after the surgery. Your muscles take time to relax and the implants will probably drop a little. Don’t worry too much… give them a chance to fall into place. You will likely feel self-conscious for a few weeks after surgery.

How painful are the implants after surgery?

You are usually advised that there will be some discomfort after surgery, and it certainly depends on the individual and which doctor you had; however be prepared to experience pain and discomfort for anywhere up to one month after surgery. You should try to have some assistance for everyday activities for at least a week after surgery. Things that were simple before the surgery will become almost impossible initially after arriving home. Washing your hair, showering, getting dressed, shaving your legs, feeding the dog, lifting things (especially baby), even getting out of bed… all of these things will prove difficult, even with painkillers. One thing to perhaps try to remember to do before the surgery is to buy a larger support bra and a couple of loose shirts or dresses to wear afterwards.

Does having a breast augmentation cause depression?

The look of your breasts initially after surgery, combined with all the painkillers, etc. that you are taking can lead many women to experience depression on different levels. Support after surgery is important and try to make sure you have a partner/close friend on hand to help you through the darker times before you reach the light at the end of the tunnel!

Can I still breastfeed after surgery?

Many women can still breastfeed to a certain extent after having implants, however there are many who can’t. You need to be aware of this being a possibility and factor it into your decision. Some women can’t breastfeed even without implants. There is no good evidence that breast implants inhibit the ability to breastfeed. Discuss this with your doctor and if you are planning this soon, you may wish to consider waiting until after you have children to undergo the surgery.

Will I lose sensation in my breasts after having breast augmentation surgery?

Possibly. The majority of women still experience some to all sensation in their breasts and nipples but there is definitely a possibility you will lose it. Again, choosing the right doctor can increase your chances of success here.

Having breast augmentation/implant surgery is a big, life changing decision. You need to consider every aspect of the surgery and make sure it is the right choice for you, and BE PREPARED! Choosing the right surgeon who will disclose all the ins and outs of the surgery and will support you and answer any of your questions after surgery is integral to your experience and levels of discomfort after surgery. Make sure you ask about possible risks, side effects and discuss your recovery with your doctor. It is just that all too often we jump into things without knowing the risks and negatives and here at the Plastic Surgery Hub we believe that an informed decision is a smart one.

To find a quality surgeon on our directory go here.

Further Reading Related to Breast Implants