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Beyond the Before & After: 5 Essential Facts to Know When Considering Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation model

Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic surgery aiming to improve breast size, shape, or both. While it can boost confidence and self-esteem, it's crucial to understand the long-term implications before taking the plunge. Here, we delve into five key factors you should absolutely know before deciding on breast implants.

1. Not a One-Time Investment: Lifespan and Replacement

Many women considering breast augmentation envision a permanent solution. However, implants have a finite lifespan. Typically, they last around 10-15 years, depending on various factors like your body chemistry, implant type, and lifestyle choices. Over time, the implant's shell can harden, rupture, or develop capsular contracture (scar tissue around the implant). This necessitates explantation (removal) and potential replacement with new implants.

What this means for you: Factor in the potential cost of future replacement surgeries when considering the initial investment. Discuss implant types and their lifespans with your board-certified plastic surgeon.

2. Vigilance is Key: Monitoring for Leaks and Ruptures

Regular self-examinations and mammograms are crucial for early detection of any implant issues. However, proactive monitoring goes beyond these routine checks.

Recommended Schedule:

  • Self-Exams: Conduct monthly self-examinations, feeling for any changes in shape, firmness, or tenderness.
  • 5 Years Post-Surgery: Schedule an MRI scan to assess implant integrity.
  • Every 3 Years Thereafter: Repeat the MRI scan, even if you don't experience any symptoms.
  • Early Detection Matters: If you experience symptoms like breast pain, asymmetry, or breast firmness, consult your doctor immediately. Early detection of a leak, capsular contracture, or rupture allows for prompt action, minimizing potential complications.

3. Understanding Breast Implant Illness (BII)

Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a complex issue with a range of reported symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, cognitive difficulties, and respiratory problems. While the exact cause remains under investigation, some women attribute these symptoms to their implants.

What this means for you: Research BII and discuss it with your surgeon. Be aware of the potential health concerns and weigh them against your desired outcomes.

4. ALCL: A Rare But Serious Concern

Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that has been linked to textured breast implants. While the overall risk is very low, it's important to be informed.

What this means for you: Discuss the risks and benefits of textured vs smooth implants with your surgeon. Textured implants may offer a lower risk of capsular contracture according to some studies, but carry a slightly higher risk of ALCL.

5. FDA Recalls and the Importance of Research

The FDA plays a vital role in ensuring medical device safety. Occasionally, specific implant models might be recalled due to safety concerns.

What this means for you: Research and choose a surgeon who uses implants with a proven safety record and are not part of any current recalls. Utilize the FDA website to stay updated on any relevant information: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/breast-implants


This blog serves as an informative guide, not a substitute for professional medical advice. Schedule consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss your specific goals, health history, and any questions you may have.

Beyond the Five

  • Realistic Expectations: Discuss desired size and shape with your surgeon, but prioritize a natural result that complements your body type.
  • Recovery Time: Plan for downtime post-surgery. Discuss limitations on physical activity and lifting heavy objects.
  • Emotional Considerations: Breast augmentation is a personal decision. Consider your motivations and potential emotional impact.

By taking the time to educate yourself, considering all aspects, and consulting with qualified professionals, you can make an informed decision about breast augmentation.

Your new life starts here

If you’re considering plastic surgery in Miami, Aventura or Fort Lauderdale, choosing the right plastic surgeon could not be more important. Dr. Jeremy White is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the 2021 Doctor’s Choice Award Miami, the 2016 RealSelf Top 500, and the prestigious Castle Connolly Top Doctors Award Winner since 2017. We invite you to have a consultation about the procedure you need. Schedule your consultation today.

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