Can a woman breastfeed after a breast augmentation?
Women who have had breast
augmentation for the most part do not have any harder of a time
breast-feeding than a woman who does not
To lower the risks associated
with breast implants and breast-feeding is to avoid the
peri-areolar incision. This is because of
the risk of interfering with nipple sensation. Having breast augmentation
surgery normally does not cause disruption of the breast gland itself. This
includes if the implants are placed sub-glandularly (over the muscle), because
the dissection usually doesn’t disconnect the gland from the nipple.
Women with breast implants do
not risk exposing their breastfed children to excessive amount of silicone. The
Institute of Medicine concluded, “No evidence of elevated silicone in
breast milk or any other substance that would be harmful to infants was found in
women with silicone gel-filled breast implants."
Breast-feeding can be
difficult for many women, even those that never had breast surgery before. The
Le Lache League
is a great support group for information about breastfeeding.
How long can breast implants last?
Breast implants are a man made
device. Like anything that is man made have the potential for failure. Breast
implants are not intended to be
lifetime devices, however; most plastic surgeons will agree that
the only time to exchange your breast implants is when you are having a
complication from the devices, or if you wanted to change your breast size.
The complications that can
arise with breast implants include:
Implants on a routine basis do
not necessarily need to be changed out at any interval. The most often cited
number is every 10 – 15 years, women will need additional surgery for breast
augmentation. This number is based on surgeries for all reasons, including
complications and or having the implants removed, or for the mere fact that the
patient might want to increase or decrease their size.
The time frame number is also
based on the older implant shells. Because of the new formulations, implants are
less often to rupture. The implant replacement issue use to be very prevalent
during the early years of breast augmentation. However, this was done before the
newer and stronger breast implant were redesigned which was after the 10 year
moratorium by the FDA.
Both breast implant
manufacturers have a lifetime
warranty on their implant, as well as a 10 year warranty on the
replacement cost if they should deflate. Technically the implants are good
forever, however; according to the FDA the average time span for women changing
their implants are within 18 – 20 years.
If you are happy with your
breast implants and the size you have achieved, then you do not need to do
breast implants are above the muscle the chances of
rippling being visible is greater. Having
the implants below the muscle minimizes rippling, but still may be noticeable
between the breast and under the breast. The more natural tissue you start out
with, the less chance of rippling. Also, silicone implant do not ripple as often
Which implant gives a more “natural” appearance?
Each patient is unique with
their body characteristics. And the word “natural” is in the eye of the
beholder. The plastic surgeon formulates an individualized approach that takes
into consideration your anatomy and the necessary limitations and compromises of
each technique and implant, in order to arrive at a result that you will
hopefully find to be both pleasing and natural.
Some of the important
aspects that are taken into consideration with finding the right implant for
your body type are the following:
The plastic surgeon will
assess these factors when choosing the right implant:
Chest wall asymmetries
What are adjustable breast implants?
Expandable, or "adjustable"
breast implants have a small removable port which is implanted under the skin at
the time of the surgery. By accessing this port through the skin with a small
needle, saline can be added to or removed from the implant. After the desired
size is achieved the port is later removed surgically, as a small office
What does the word “cohesive gel” mean?
Cohesive describes a gel's
elasticity or tendency to stick together. All silicone gel-filled breast
implants available today are filled with cohesive gel, however; there are
different levels of cohesiveness.
What are “gummy bear” gel
bear” implants are more cohesive in their silicone
gel-filled breast implants – which is a firmer silicone gel filler to help
maintain the shape of the implant. At this time, these breast implants are
available only through clinical studies being conducted by Mentor and Allergan
silicone gel filled breast implants cause cancer?
There are published studies
indicating that breast cancer is no more common in women with breast implants
versus women without breast implants. The Institute of Medicine report – dated
1999, concluded that: “There is no increase in primary or recurrent breast
cancer in implanted women.”
Are fat injections an option instead of breast implants for augmentation?
Fat injections to the breasts
are currently an area of controversy. Questions remain over whether injected
areas can mimic x-ray findings of breast cancer in mammograms. This procedure is
not frequently performed.
What happens if I have my implants removed?
The appearance of the breasts
after implant removal varies among women depending on the size of the implants
and the quality of the soft tissues and skin. Some women's breasts look good
after implant removal. However, some can experience unacceptable deflation, sagging,
dimpling, puckering, wrinkling, or other cosmetic changes of the breasts after
implant removal. More than likely, if you do elect to have your implant removed,
you might have to have a
breast implants interfere with mammograms?
Yes, regardless of their
location in the sub-muscular or sub-glandular location, they can interfere with
However, most breast screening centers are well accustomed to performing
mammography on patients who have breast implants by taking additional views of
the breast. Radiologists that are experienced in the evaluation of women with
breast implants should be the one that interpret mammography exams.
There are some newer
diagnostic screenings available to help patients with breast implants:
Image of Allergan - Natrelle Gel Breast Implant Card
Will the sensation in my breast or nipple change after augmentation?
Feeling or sensation in the
nipple and breasts can either increase or decrease after augmentation. The range
of feeling from numbness to hypersensitivity varies from patient to patient.
More than likely these changes are temporary and will go away after several week
or months. Surgeons will tell their patients to wait up to one year to see if
they are getting any feeling back into the breast area, as nerve fibers grow at
a very slow rate.
After surgery your might experience sharp intense pain
sensations in the breast. This is considered nerve regeneration – which is a
good sign that the nerves are trying to regenerate so you can get feeling back.
How long until I can exercise after breast augmentation surgery?
It is important not to do any
strenuous exercise for at least three to six weeks after a breast augmentation. This is because you can tear a small blood vessel and cause a hematoma or
blood collection in the breast pocket. Most plastic surgeons will
recommend no heavy lifting (nothing more than 10 lbs) during the first six weeks
after surgery along with not doing any activity that would increase your blood
pressure or raise your pulse.
If your surgeon has given you
instructions to massage, then you need to make sure you are doing this to their
specifications. Only your plastic surgeon knows how big he has made your pocket
for the implant to sit in. Always follow your own surgeon’s instructions.
How long until I can drive?
Approximately a week or so,
when you are off all narcotic pain medication. Each plastic surgeon has their
own time line for their patient, so make sure you find out exactly what your own
surgeon has requested.
Should I consider using Arnica and Bromelain?
Arnica is a homeopathic remedy
designed to reduce the bruising and swelling that comes with both invasive and
non invasive surgical procedures. Bromelain is a nutritional supplement with
anti-inflammatory properties. Please make sure it is okay with your own plastic
surgeon to take these products.
How long does the swelling and bruising last after surgery?
of swelling will differ on the two sides, some bruising and swelling may persist
for 2-3 weeks postoperatively (likely areas are the armpits and collarbone to