Breast augmentation is a big decision and it will surely change your self-image and your life. Beyond the decisions such as saline versus silicone and over or under the pectoral muscle for implant placement, our patients have other questions when they’re considering this procedure.
How long will my implants last?
As with any manufactured product, breast implants have a lifespan. At some point the implants will rupture or begin leaking and will need to be replaced. How long will that be? Manufacturers warranty their implants for 10 years, and will generally reimburse patients for failure prior to that timeframe. But the lifespan of patient implants can vary wildly.
You should expect to have at least one replacement surgery in your lifetime, probably more than one. You should expect to need to replace your implants every 10 to 15 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, probably more than that. Replacement surgery is much easier than the originally augmentation surgery, as Dr. Kearney can enter through the original incisions.
How will I know what size to choose for my implants?
Some women think implants are sized similar to bra sizes, but this isn’t 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. Kearney helps his patients decide on the implant size with the Crisalix 3D system. This imaging system combines 3D imaging with virtual reality goggles so patients can see exactly what different sizes of implants will look like on their unique figure. This helps our patients feel confident in their choices.
When can I return to normal activities after my augmentation surgery?
Most patients are surprised when Dr. Kearney tells them they can return to work approximately 3-5 days after surgery. Sutures will be removed after one week. One very important facet of recovery is wearing a support bra 24 hours a day for one full month after your surgery. It can be tempting to not follow these instructions, but it is important so as not to place any stress on your incisions. Otherwise, normal activities can resume in 1-2 weeks, but any impact exercise will need to wait for one month. 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 decrease 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, adding implants during a breast lift is a relatively easy addition to the procedure. This is because the incisions needed for the breast lift can be used for augmentation, as well. Plus, there is just a single recovery period.