More Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Cosmetic Breast Surgery

dr john leroyHow do patients decide between silicone and saline breast implants?

The type of breast implant a patient chooses for breast enhancement surgery depends on their personal preference. Both saline and silicone breast implants are safe for surgical use. During a consultation, it’s important to discuss not only the type of breast implants you desire, but also factors such as shape and size with your prospective plastic surgeon to maximize your satisfaction with the overall results. Oftentimes, plastic surgeons even allow you to “try on” different types, sizes, and shapes of breast implants to give you a better idea of what your results might look like.

Will I have to receive mammograms more often after I get breast implants?

Patients should receive a mammogram before breast implant surgery to act as a benchmark for comparison after breast enhancement surgery. Women over 50 should receive mammograms as directed by their physician according to current U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines, which is usually about every two years. Patients with a history of breast cancer should receive regular mammograms as directed by their physician.

Do breast implants harden over time?

Breast implants themselves do not become hard. Saline implants are made up of a silicone elastomer shell filled with sterile saline solution, and silicone implants are made completely out of silicone gel. These materials do not become hard, but scar tissue can become tough and form around saline or silicone breast implants over time. Known as capsule contracture, this complication can be avoided by following post procedure care instructions, such as wearing supportive undergarments, massaging, avoiding strenuous activity, etc.

How old should a patient be before breast enhancement surgery?

There is no concrete age at which a patient should or should not undergo breast surgery. However, as with any other procedure, including rhinoplasty or or tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), possible physical and emotional effects should be considered. I prefer to reserve breast surgery for patients who are physically mature due to the fact that breast augmentation results may be altered with continued growth, possibly even requiring breast revision surgery.

What is involved in male breast reduction surgery?

Performed to reduce the effects of a condition called gynecomastia that creates an over-feminized appearance, male breast reduction surgery reduces excess fat and glandular tissue. During the procedure, a plastic surgeon uses liposuction to remove fat beneath the skin and excises the surplus tissue to provide a more masculine appearance.