A recent blog on NewBeauty.com (4/26/12) listed 5 breast implant myths. These are “truths” about implants that have crept into the public mind and that are generally believed to be true. The reality is that most experienced plastic surgeons would consider them to be untrue. Here are the myths. What do you think?

1. Saline filled implants are safer than silicone filled implants.
2. Under muscle is more natural than over the muscle.
3. You cannot breast feed after breast augmentation.
4. Natural breast augmentation with fat is better than breast implants.
5. You need breast implants for a breast lift.

There is a certain degree of truth to each of the 5 implant myths listed above. Let’s examine each:

#1 Saline is safer than silicone – It all depends what you mean by safe. If you never want to have an MRI or wonder if your implants are leaking (since a saline implant will disappear from view if it does leak), then you might consider this to be true. The FDA, however, considers both types of implants to be safe, an opinion that has been borne out by years of scientific investigation. The current silicone implants are made of a very cohesive gel that causes the silicone to stick together, even in the event of a leakage. As a result, silicone spreading throughout your breast or body after a leak is highly unlikely.

#2 Under muscle is more natural looking than over the muscle – In a slender patient, this is usually true! What are my colleagues thinking?? An implant in front of the muscle tends to give a flat look in the upper chest that then suddenly juts forward where the implant starts. On the other hand, if the implant is behind the muscle, the upper portion of the chest fills out a bit more and the transition to the lower area where the implant sits is far more natural. There is also less wrinkling of the implants when they are under the muscle that results in a more natural look. More importantly, most doctors who interpret mammograms would consider the under muscle location to be superior for mammographic interpretation. Many believe that you’ll miss fewer breast cancers that way.

#3 You cannot breast feed after breast augmentation – This is false. Most patients who can breast feed before surgery can also do so afterwards. The fact is that many patients cannot breast feed before surgery! You maximize your chances of being able to breast feed after surgery by opting for an incision other than the one around the areola. The incision beneath the breast is the most popular option.

#4 Natural breast augmentation with fat is better than implants – This could be considered as true if you want to avoid implants at all costs. The reality is that fat injection for breast augmentation is a new procedure that may have problems of which we are not yet aware. For starters, 50% of the fat tends to dissolve. Furthermore, fat injection tends to produce a relatively flat and wide breast, something that many patients do not like. They prefer the narrower and more projecting look that implants can produce.

#5 Breast implants are needed for a breast lift – A breast lift alone will usually not produce the desired degree of upper breast fullness on a long term basis that a breast lift plus an implant allows. If upper breast fullness is not a priority for the patient, an uplift alone may work beautifully! On the other hand, many patients find that with an implant only, there is still some lifting of the breast, and they can still have some lifting and avoid the additional scars that an uplift requires.

Should you desire further information, please contact my office.

George Sanders, M.D.