In all the excitement leading up to breast augmentation, our New York patients occasionally forget to think about how to care for their breasts after surgery. Much of the advice we give women with breast implants aren’t all that distinct from what we might tell any women, but there are some subtle differences to keep in mind.
If you’re a post breast augmentation patient, read on to find out more.
Staying Alert for Breast Cancer
After breast enlargement surgery, you’ll want to get in the habit of performing regular breast self-exams if you don’t do so already. If you’re not feeling motivated, check out this article published last year in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Results of a study conducted by several physicians and surgeons suggested that “palpable detection of breast cancer is more likely at a smaller size in augmented patients, yet it is less likely on screening mammography than in controls.” In short, these doctors found that you may be more successful in finding a tumor early than a mammogram.
Mammography is still a must when your primary care doctor recommends it—usually around age 40. When you make an appointment, be sure to tell the scheduler as well as the technician that you have breast implants.
You should also be aware of the risk, though extremely small, of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) with some models of implants. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery published an FAQ on the topic late last year; find it here.
In an article published on health.com, an oncologist at a Pennsylvania hospital suggested that women get to know their implants. We can help our New York breast augmentation patients do just that so they’ll be able to distinguish the implants from the breast tissue and fat.
Supporting Your New Breasts
Since your breasts are larger than they were before, choosing the right bra is more important than ever. If you find it a challenge to get the right fit, some large department stores still have professional bra experts that can help with sizes. Healthcentral.com also recommends you choose bras made of breathable fibers, change them often and hand wash them with gentle soap. The website also notes that your size can change over the years, so don’t assume you can wear the same bra forever.
When you choose a sports bra, healthcentral.com recommends a supportive, stretchy bra for light impact activities, and a more substantial, tighter model for more active sports. The website cautions you to beware of clasps and seams that might irritate your skin.
Watching for Implant Issues
If you’re one of our New York breast augmentation patients, we will have assured you that complications from breast augmentation are relatively rare but not zero. If you’re like most women, you’ll be interested to learn about risks that may require additional surgery in the future.
Capsular contracture is still a leading complication of breast implant surgery. If you’re interested in learning the results of a variety of studies, look over this article offered by the National Institutes of Health. It states that recent investigation shows there’s a combined overall incidence of capsular contracture in about 3.6% of cases. The rate varies quite a bit, though, when you consider variables such as implant type and placement.
For patients concerned about this complication, we outline the strategies we use to avoid risks including favoring submuscular placement whenever possible. We also note that mild cases of capsular contracture usually do not require additional surgery.
Implant rupture is also a possibility women should consider prior to breast augmentation surgery. Speaking very generally, saline filled breast implants have been found to rupture sooner than silicone implants. If that happens, deflation is easily detected and the body absorbs the fluid harmlessly. Most patients elect to have the implant replaced.
Today’s silicone gel implants have many advantages, including increased safety. A study by researchers at the University of Minnesota a couple of years ago characterized the risk of rupture as “very low,” rising 6-8 years after surgery. Should one of your silicone implants rupture, it’s quite possible that you will have no symptoms and not even realize a change has occurred. The University of Minnesota scientists notes that the “consensus of the literature states there are no health risks associated with implant rupture.”
Our New York Breast Augmentation Patients
Risks and complications of breast augmentation surgery is a topic we cover extensively with each patient. We discuss how to spot a potential issue, and we outline options ranging from observation to implant exchange. We can also cover breast health after surgery as extensively as patients want us to and suggest resources for further exploration.
We have been performing breast augmentation in New York with implants for decades, and, more recently with fat transfer. With thousands of successful surgeries to our credit, the current rate of issues we note in our patient population is extremely low.
If you’re interested in working with us, give us a call at 212-570-6080. We’d like to meet you!