Women’s breast surgery: Most Frequently Asked Questions

Since we daily consult lots of women on breast surgery in our clinic in Barcelona (Antiaging Group Barcelona, Tres Torres clinic), and as we read many doubts on many internet forums which can lead to wrong conclusions or bad practices, I have decided to respond to the frequently asked questions on women’s breast surgery, and disprove the myths.

1. Do I need to change the implants every 10 years?

All manufacturers of breast prostheses around the world offer guarantees for manufacture defects which range from 10-20 years to a guarantee for life. However, this does not mean that the implants need to be replaced by other implants in time, if there is no problem. It is also not true that the implants need to be changed every 7-8 years (or other numbers that you hear or read). A 2% of cohesive implants break in 10 years (a study by P. Heden in Sweden). Either way, we cannot ascertain that the implant will last you a lifetime. It is possible that the implant should be changed at least once during the lifetime of a woman. That is to say that we can keep the prosthesis in the breasts until a medical criterion is detected to change it.

2. Can the prosthesis explode in planes?

The most popular myth. Don’t you think that all the prostheses that come to our clinics would be broken if this were the case? This is not true. The prostheses are manufactured under the most strictest controls and are transported via air transport from Germany, Ireland, the United States, etc.

3. Can’t I do sports after the operation?

It is recommended not to perform intense sports activities during the first month. After that time and so long as the recovery process has gone correctly, you can do sports with a good bra. For patients that engage in intensive sports activities, it can be recommended to place the implants above the pectoral muscle in order to prevent this muscle from deforming or displacing the prosthesis.

4. Can’t I breastfeed my future children?

Regardless of the access route to place the prosthesis, the communication of the lactiferous ducts to the breast is never cut during the intervention. That is, the surgery, if properly performed, does not affect breastfeeding.

5. Can I feel the prosthesis?

It depends. The type of breasts that you had before and the type of implant as well as the volume are determining factors for the results after the intervention. In any case, it is easier to detect them when the woman lies down.

6. Can the body reject the implants?

Breast implants are not rejected by the body. What can occur is a capsular contracture, which is a scar near the implant that is thicker than normal. Follow-up surgery may be necessary in some occasions depending on the degree of contracture.

7. Can the scars made to place the implants be removed?

We wish they could be. In general, the scars are «almost unnoticeable«, especially with our axillary technique. However, there is a cutaneous scar as long as we make an incision on the skin with a surgical knife. There are creams and dressings to improve the appearance during the scarring process.

8. Is it easy and fast to have a breast enlargement intervention?

It is an error to think that this intervention does not constitute any risks. There is a potential risk that exists, however minimal, as long as you have surgery. It is very important to turn to a qualified professional and to have the surgery performed in an accredited centre. In any case, the complication index is about 1-2%.

9. Is the detection of possible tumors more difficult with a breast implant?

There are studies that show that the prosthesis can lead to a 10% of false negatives in mammographies. This means that you may need complementary tests, such as Magnetic Resonance for diagnosis. However, it is also true that the prosthesis pushes the gland and it is easier to detect a nodule by palpation. It has been checked that there is no difference in terms of survival and prognosis in women with breast cancer, with or without prosthesis before the treatment of cancer. The prosthesis does not increase the risk of having cancer. In the Western world, a 10% of women may develop cancer in their lives.

10. Do anatomical prostheses rotate?

The round ones rotate too. What happens is that the shape of the breast changes if an anatomical prosthesis rotates. This happens very rarely, at a rate of 2-3%. The causes can be that the wall of the implant has not settled well into the tissue that surrounds it or that the pocket is too big.

Would You Like to Have Breast Enlargement? Request a Consultation Session in Our Barcelona Clinic and You Can Resolve All Your Doubts with Our Team of Surgeons.

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Dr. Jesús Benito Ruiz

Director médico y fundador de Antiaging Group Barcelona

Director de AGB, el doctor Jesús Benito es un cirujano de renombre, actual presidente de la AECEP. Miembro de diversas sociedades científicas como la SECPRE y pionero en diversas técnicas quirúrgicas, ha recibido premios y realizado publicaciones de prestigio.