What Are Breast Implants? Breast Implant Expert Guide 2023
At Burbank Plastic Surgery, breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures among our clients. In the US alone, surgeons perform over 300,000 breast implant surgeries every year. This surgery uses breast implants to enhance your natural chest and help you achieve your desired look and shape. It can also boost your confidence and help you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
Getting breast implants is a big decision, and you’ll want to make sure you’re informed and confident in your decision. Here’s everything you need to know about breast implants in 2023.
What are Breast Implants?
Breast implants are a type of prosthetic that are inserted into the breast tissue during an augmentation or reconstruction surgery. These implants give your breasts structure and volume to help you achieve a specific shape.
There are many reasons why patients choose to get this procedure done. Many women find that they aren’t happy with their natural breast shape and size. While it’s most common to get implants to make breasts larger, it can also be used to correct uneven or asymmetrical breasts. Some patients also get breast implants as part of gender-affirming care. Finally, many breast cancer patients get breast implants after receiving a mastectomy in a breast reconstruction surgery.
Benefits of Breast Implants
There are a variety of benefits to getting breast implant surgery, particularly if you’re not feeling confident with your natural curves and want to enhance them. Here are some reasons to consider getting breast implants.
Achieve Your Desired Look
If you’ve always wanted to have breasts of a certain size or shape, breast implants can help you get the look you’ve always wanted and boost your confidence. Implants naturally make your breasts larger and rounder, but are still designed to look natural.
Many patients find that breast implants help them feel sexier and more self-assured in their favorite clothes. Breast implants can also even out your overall proportions to give you a balanced yet voluptuous silhouette.
Restore Your Breast Shape
As with the rest of our bodies, it’s normal for breasts to change over time. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and aging in general can all cause your breasts to sag or shrink. Those who experience breast cancer often lose one or both breasts in treatment. Breast implants are a way to restore your breasts to the way they were at a younger age, helping you feel more like yourself.
Make Breasts More Symmetrical
Asymmetrical breasts can significantly affect your quality of life by making it difficult to find clothing that fits properly. Breast implants make your breasts more symmetrical to help you feel more comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing.
Relatively Quick Recovery
Breast augmentation surgery takes about three hours to complete and has a recovery time of one to two weeks. You’ll be able to resume many aspects of your normal routine after just a few days, although you’ll need to be very careful when moving around.
Disadvantages and Risks of Breast Implants
There are many benefits that come with getting implants, but it’s also important to be aware of the potential disadvantages of getting breast implants and some of the risks associated with the procedure. Here are some of the biggest disadvantages of getting breast implants.
Getting breast implants is an invasive procedure, and you’ll need to be aware of all of the potential downsides that come with that. Although the procedure has a relatively quick recovery period, you’ll still likely need to take some time away from work or school to rest and recuperate. You’ll experience normal pain and achiness as well as a limited range of motion while you’re recovering.
As with any surgery, there are some risk factors associated with breast implants, and it’s important to be aware of these going in. Possible complications include capsular contracture, infection, and implant rupture.
Pain or Loss of Sensation
When compared to many other types of surgery, breast augmentation has a relatively quick recovery process. However, you may still experience chronic pain or loss of sensation in the breast area in the months following your recovery process.
You won’t know exactly what your breast implants are going to look like until the surgery is complete. Because of this, there’s a chance you won’t be happy with the way your breasts look and feel after the procedure. This is why it is so important to choose an experienced surgeon that you trust to help you get the results you’re looking for.
Not Covered By Health Insurance
Because breast augmentation is a cosmetic plastic surgery, it is not usually covered by health insurance. This means you’ll need to pay for the surgery and all of the related costs out of pocket. The only exception to this is reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients. Some insurance plans will cover reconstruction in these cases.
Types of Breast Implants: Silicone vs Saline
We offer three different types of breast implants for our patients such as saline or silicone. There are pros and cons to each type of implant, and your surgeon will discuss them with you in detail to determine which one makes the most sense for your unique needs.
Silicone breast implants are a popular choice for breast augmentations because of their realistic look and feel. These implants consist of a silicone casing filled with silicone gel. Modern silicone implants are sometimes referred to as “gummy bear” implants due to their unique texture. Silicone implants also come in both a smooth and textured casing, though smooth implants are more commonly used.
These implants are particularly popular because they look and feel very natural. The texture of silicone closely mimics the texture of breast tissue, and they have a natural teardrop shape as well. Silicone is the best breast augmentation option for those who want a very natural look and feel. However, it’s important to note that silicone implants are more expensive than saline implants.
Additionally, patients who opt for silicone will need to be proactive about checking for tears in the implants. Silicone implants are very durable, which means they can tear without leaking or collapsing. Because of this, you’ll need to schedule regular screenings to ensure that your implants are still in good condition.
Saline breast implants are known for their bold, round shape and are a popular option for patients who want a voluptuous look. They are made from a silicone casing that is filled with saline solution. Saline-filled implants tend to be slightly more affordable than silicone implants, but they don’t look or feel as natural.
The saline solution in these implants is completely sterile, so if they do rupture at any point, there are fewer complications to worry about. Saline implants also result in less scarring than silicone implants because they require a smaller incision.
Fat transfer implants use liposuction to take fat from other parts of your body and inject it into your breasts. This creates a very soft, natural look with no scarring. This is a good option for patients who want to balance out their proportions rather than a major cup size increase.
It’s important to note that it takes time for the fat transfer to fully settle in after the initial procedure, and it will take several months to see the final results. Because fat transfer implants are not structured, breasts can still sag after the procedure. Some patients pair fat transfer implants with a breast lift to achieve a firm, round look.
Common Breast Implant Sizes
Breast implants range widely in terms of size and shape. The right size for you will depend on your height and general proportions. For example, if you have a petite frame, you’ll need smaller implants than someone who is tall and has a broad frame. Your surgeon will also take your desired look into consideration. Some patients want a natural look that’s still appropriate for an active lifestyle, while others prefer a very bold look.
In breast implant sizes, every 150cc is equivalent to about one cup size. 300cc to 350cc is the most popular size option because it looks very natural. Patients will notice a visible difference in their breast size, but will still fit comfortably into a C cup bra. 400cc implants are significantly larger and create a more dramatic look.
500cc implants provide a very significant, visible increase in size and is equivalent to a D or DD cup size. Implants up to 800cc in size are possible, but they tend to be very heavy and can overpower a small frame. It's important to choose the right size for your frame, sometimes bigger isn't always better.
Cost of Breast Implants
Breast implants range widely in cost depending on the type of implant you’re getting, your surgeon’s experience level and reputation, and where you’re getting the procedure done. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that the average cost for a breast augmentation ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 in price.
There are several different expenses associated with breast implant surgery. In addition to your surgeon’s fee, you’ll also need to pay facility fees and pay for the cost of anesthesia. You’ll also need to pay for your pre- and post-operative appointments and any necessary tests associated with them. Finally, you’ll need to pay for any necessary painkillers or other prescription drugs as well as compression bras and other care accessories.
Your plastic surgeon will provide a cost estimate before the procedure to help you prepare. Health insurance companies typically do not cover the cost of breast implants, so you’ll need to pay for these expenses out of pocket. The only exception to this is implants for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, as some insurance companies will partially cover the costs of surgery in this case.
If you’re concerned about the cost of breast implants, talk to your surgeon’s office about financing and payment plan options. Some practices allow patients to pay for the procedure in installments to make costs more manageable. Many surgeons also accept CareCredit, which is a financing plan designed specifically for healthcare.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
Breast implants do not usually last a lifetime - most patients will eventually need to get them replaced. The lifespan of your breast implants will vary depending on the type of implant you have. Both saline and silicone implants are FDA-approved for approximately 10 years. However, many patients find that their implants last as long as 20 years.
Fat transfer breast augmentations do not require replacement as there is no implant involved. Once the fat cells have settled in your breasts, they will remain there for life. However, you may need multiple treatments to achieve the look you want.
As your implants age, they are more likely to rupture, shift, or develop other issues. If your breasts feel hard, uneven, wrinkled, or painful, make an appointment with your surgeon right away. You may need to have your implants removed or replaced.
Common Side Effects of Breast Implants
As with any surgery, breast augmentation or reconstruction can come with some side effects. Your surgeon will discuss these side effects with you before you have surgery. It’s very important to understand the potential complications associated with the procedure so you can spot any warning signs and seek necessary care. Some of the most common side effects of breast implants are:
Capsular contracture: This is when the body rejects the breast implant. Scar tissue forms and hardens around the implant, causing pain and distorting its shape. Although this condition is rare, the implant usually needs to be removed immediately when it happens to prevent further complications.
Infection: It is possible to develop an infection after breast implant surgery through your wounds. Signs of an infection include pain, fever, redness or rash, swelling, and abnormal discharge. When infection happens, it needs to be addressed immediately to prevent it from progressing.
Pain: Pain during the recovery process is normal. However, if you continue to experience breast pain after recovery, you’ll need to schedule a follow-up with your doctor.
Change or loss of nipple sensation: Most patients find that a loss of breast sensation is temporary and returns after a few months. However, for some patients the change in sensation is permanent.
Leaks, rupture, or movement: Normal wear and tear can cause breast implant rupture or shift over time. Many patients don’t even notice when a rupture happens, which is why regular checkups are so important.
Breast implant illness: Some patients experience a unique form of illness after implant surgery. Some symptoms include fever, rash, and issues with memory and concentration. Researchers are unsure why this illness happens. [stat/link]
How To Know If Breast Implants Are Right For You
Getting a breast augmentation is a very personal choice with long-lasting consequences, so it’s important to be sure you’re ready. Implants could be right for you if your breasts are very small, asymmetrical, or disproportionate to the rest of your frame. You’ll also need to pass a basic health screening to ensure you’re a good candidate for surgery.
While breast implants can boost your confidence, they are not a quick fix for severe body image issues. It’s important to be in a healthy and positive frame of mind when getting the surgery. Additionally, you’ll need to wait until your body has finished developing. FDA requires patients to be at least 18 years old for saline implants and at least 22 for silicone implants.
Tips On Choosing The Best Breast Implant Surgeon
When planning your breast augmentation, choosing a reputable surgeon that you trust is crucial. Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing a breast implant surgeon.
Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. Any surgeon you work with should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Review their education and experience. Your surgeon should have completed surgical training from an accredited medical school with a plastic surgery residency.
Read online reviews. Testimonials from other patients can give you an idea of what to expect with each surgeon. Before and after photos can also give you an idea of the surgeon’s skill level and the type of procedures they perform. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any complaints or lawsuits.
Consider the facility and staff. You’ll want to make sure that your procedure is done in a safe and comfortable facility. Look for images of the surgical suites to get an idea of what to expect. You’ll also want to make sure that the staff is very experienced and has appropriate training. For example, you’ll want to check the credentials of your anesthesiologist and nurses in addition to the surgeon.
Schedule a consultation. Most importantly, you need to have a comfortable, trusting relationship with your surgeon. Schedule a consultation with your surgeon to get to know them and see if you are a good fit. Many surgeons offer free consultations for major procedures, so you can shop around to find the right surgeon for your needs.
Get Breast Implants With Burbank Plastic Surgery
Burbank Plastic Surgery offers breast augmentation and implant revisions for patients throughout the Los Angeles area. Dr. Orloff and our experienced team work closely with each patient to provide customized results. Request a consultation today to learn more about breast augmentation surgery.