Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Implants
“There is no evidence that silicone implants are responsible for any major diseases of the whole body. Women are exposed to silicone constantly in their daily lives.” Special studies have been done and have determined that much higher levels of silicone have been found in cows’ milk and commercially available infant formula than are found in the breast milk of women with implants.
There is no association between implants and breast cancer. Nor has there been any association with breast implants and autoimmune diseases such as SLE, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma.
Your doctor may order an MRI scan which does not require pressure on the breasts and may detect breast cancer earlier than a mammogram.
Implants are not lifetime devices; therefore it is likely that they may need to be replaced sometime in your life. The time period varies from woman to woman. Some women need replacement surgery in only a few years while others may go 10-12 years. There are several different reasons why a woman might need replacement surgery. Sometimes it is a matter of choice, such as a size change, and sometimes removal and replacement is necessary because of a complication, such as excessive firmness around the implant.
Many women with implants SCUBA dive and fly in aeroplanes. It is suggested to wait 2 weeks after surgery before flying within Australia or overseas.
It is recommended to wait 3 months before wearing underwire bras after implant surgery. Your body will be forming scar tissue around the implant for 3 months. During this time the pressure of the wires could cause the scar tissue to form in such a way that an indentation from the wires could become permanent. After this initial healing time underwire bras should be worn intermittently to avoid permanent indentation.
Recover periods vary from woman to woman. It is recommended to take at least one week off work, generally the first few days are the most uncomfortable. Resumption of exercise and strenuous activities will be assessed and discussed with your doctor during your recovery, the average time to return to full activities is around three to four weeks. It is important not to sweat into the incision while it is healing. Therefore curtail activity and sun tanning until after the incision is healed and sealed. Don’t overdo activity, especially of the upper body, too early. Let your body rest and heal. You want to minimise swelling around the implant. Going into a spa or bath after a month is usually okay. During the early time, one to two weeks following the surgery, you don’t want to soak the incision. Be sure to check with your surgeon before returning to the gym. Patients vary greatly in recovery times. Walking is generally recommended to encourage circulation. The larger the implant you receive, the heavier the breasts will be. You should wear good support bras while running to minimise pull on the skin and ptosis (drooping) of the breast.
Tanning at salons or sunbathing will not hurt the implant but may make the scars worse. You should avoid getting sun or tanning rays on the incisions for at least one year after surgery as tanning rays will turn the incisions dark permanently. The implant may feel warm and may take longer to cool down than your body.
This depends on multiple factors, such as the type of implant you receive, the pocket dissection, the way your body holds the implant and whether or not there is any degree of capsular contracture. It is possible for many women to have breast implants that are soft and move nicely, while other women have results that are firmer with an implant more fixed in position.
Smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the blood supply to the surgical area. The tissues need this blood supply and the oxygen that the blood carries in order to heal. When the blood supply is reduced, the tissues heal more slowly. Patients are required to cease smoking at least 6 weeks prior to surgery and not smoke afterwards.
There can be changes in nipple sensation after implant surgery. Feeling in the nipple and breast can increase or decrease. The range of change varies from no feeling to intense feeling and can be temporary or permanent.
You should be close to your ideal weight. A significant loss of weight after receiving breast implants could alter the results in a manner that is not satisfactory to you. There could be some ptosis (drooping) and a reduction in size. A significant weight gain could cause an increase in breast size.
General good health is important, not age.
The weight of an implant varies with size and fill volume. A 250cc implant filled with 250cc of gel weighs approximately 250 grams.
Every woman is an individual and therefore has different results whether before a pregnancy or after. Your breasts will enlarge and go through all the usual changes associated with pregnancy. The amount of enlargement will vary from woman to woman and the size of implants will factor into this as well.
Many woman with breast implants have successfully breast fed their babies. Current studies indicate that women with breast implants, either gel or saline, do not have any higher levels of silicone in their milk than women without breast implants. Breast implants can however, interfere with the ability of some women to breastfeed. The peri-areola incision site is more likely to affect this ability. Some women experience mastitis, inflammation in the breast ducts, during this time which may contribute to capsular contracture. Taking antibiotics when symptoms first appear may minimise the potential for this problem. You should always report signs of inflammation to your doctor.
Insertion of implants can cause stretch marks but rarely does. If you are concerned, go for a smaller size implant to minimise the stretching of the skin.