Some Breast Augmentation Questions and Answers

Since the FDA cleared silicone implants for safety in 2006, breast augmentation has been in the top three cosmetic surgeries every year. The last three years it has been number one in the U.S. 

The decision to move forward with augmentation is a big one, and it will be life changing. Our patients from all over the Salt Lake Valley and the surrounding areas have lots of questions about augmentation, but here are a few of the most common questions Dr. Yates hears. 

How long will my implants last? 

Breast implants are a manufactured product. And, as with any product, they have a lifespan. At some point the implants will rupture or begin leaking and will need to be replaced. How long will that be? In general terms there is approximately a 1% rupture rate per year.

The implant manufacturers warranty their implants for a lifetime in the event of rupture and reimburse patients for implant replacement costs if they fail before 10-20 years depending on the manufacturer.  

You should expect to have replacement surgery in your lifetime, probably more than one. You should expect to need to replace your implants every 10 to 20 years. Implant durability is increasing, so lifespans could lengthen. Regardless, if you’re in your 30s, you’ll need to replace your implants at least twice in your life.  Replacement surgery is much easier than the original augmentation surgery, as Dr. Yates can enter through the original incisions. 

How will I know what size to choose for my implants? 

There is a common misperception that breast implant sizes are sized like bra sizes. That’s not the case. Implants are sized by the amount of material filling the implant shell, measured in cubic centimeters (ccs). For instance, an implant could be 300 ccs. 

Dr. Yates has various tools to help you decide the implant size that you feel is right for you.  Our favorite tool is Vectra 3D imaging which we offer to all of our breast augmentation consultations at no additional charge.  

When can I return to normal activities after my augmentation surgery? 

Most patients are surprised when Dr. Yates tells them they can return to work approximately 3-5 days after surgery.  Normal activities can resume in 1-2 weeks, but any impact exercise will need to wait for 4-6 weeks. Upper body exercise, such as lifting weights, will need to wait for six weeks. 

If I’m having a breast lift, can I add implants as well? 

Many women opt to add augmentation to their breast lift procedure for two reasons. First, a breast lift doesn’t increase breast size, but it does return the breasts to a higher position on the chest. Breast lifts don’t add volume or replace volume that may have been lost through breastfeeding or weight loss. Augmentation is the way to add volume in addition to returning the breasts to a higher position on the chest. Second, it’s relatively easy for Dr. Yates to add implants during a breast lift because the incisions needed for the breast lift can be used to place the implants, as well. Plus, there is just a single recovery period. 

If you have further questions about breast augmentation, give us a call at (801) 525-8741 with your questions or to schedule a consultation.

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