Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implants


Have you thought about breast augmentation before—but then stopped yourself? Have you ever been curious about what the process entails, or wished you knew more about life with implants? Whatever uncertainties or lingering questions you may have about breast augmentation, we’d love to answer them. In fact, as some of the top breast plastic surgeons in the Charlotte area, that’s a big part of what we do: Educate clients about the surgical process, recovery, and results.

In this post, our top breast plastic surgeons will answer some of the more common inquiries we receive about breast implants. We hope this quick compendium is helpful to you, but if you have any additional queries, we invite you to contact us directly. We are always available to offer whatever insight or guidance you’re seeking!

How long do breast implants last?

Our patients always want to know if they are getting results that will last a lifetime. Breast implants are not necessarily considered lifetime devices, but sometimes they can be. Earlier iterations of implants were prone to failure and that’s where the recommendation to have them checked every ten years came from.

But that was back in the era of first- and second-generation implants. Now we’re into the fifth generation of breast implant technology, which has proven to be extremely safe and much less prone to rupture/failure.

We still recommend that patients return to their surgeons every few years to make sure the implants are in fact “okay,” and that no signs of rupture are detected. This is especially true following any bodily injury like you might sustain in a car accident.

Assuming there are no symptoms and these regular check-ups go smoothly, however, women with implants have little to worry about, and there is a high potential for their implants to last a lifetime.

Will I be able to breastfeed with implants?

Many moms or moms-to-be want to know how implants will impact their ability to nurse.

The first thing to note here is that not every woman can breastfeed and there is no “test” that can be done to determine whether or not a first-time mother will be able to breastfeed; so, the occurrence of breastfeeding problems may have nothing at all to do with implants.

With that said, it is highly unlikely that getting implants will impact a woman’s ability to breastfeed. In fact, in a recent clinical study with over 4500 women who gave birth to over 5500 children after primary breast augmentation, 80 percent with silicone implants and 75.9 percent with saline implants were able to breastfeed their infants without complications.

And, the rate of women in the study with lactation complications was comparable to reports in the general population of women who breastfeed, indicating that implants play no significant role in the woman’s lactation ability.

Will I lose nipple sensation?

According to our top breast plastic surgeons, loss of nipple sensation can happen—but it’s extremely rare. Only about 1-2 percent of women lose any nipple sensation, and even in those rare instances, the loss of sensation is often partial.

The nerves that provide sensation to the nipple originate in the spine and come around behind and through the breast to the nipple. When an implant is placed in the breast, those nerves are simply stretched out—so while their function can be impacted, it’s fairly unusual. Our doctors are always happy to talk with you more about this potential risk.

Will my breasts look fake?

We spend a lot of time talking to patients about their goals and the look they’re trying to achieve. There are certainly patients who want a more “fake” or “augmented” look and there are ways we can give patients that look, although it’s certainly not routine for our practice. And frankly, we find that women want this look—what we call the Baywatch look—less and less.

top breast plastic surgeonsAt Charlotte Plastic Surgery we strive for natural results that are subtle and elegant, and that provide the patient with plausible deniability. To help us meet the goals of our patients, we utilize VECTRA 3D simulation technology, which allows the patient to “try on” implants on their own form. The simulation is more than 90 percent accurate and has greatly reduced the rate of breast surgery revision due to patient implant size dissatisfaction.

Will I ever need additional surgery on my breasts?

Related to the question of breast implant life expectancy, many women want to know how likely it is that they will need follow-up procedures.

The answer is potentially yes, but not everyone does. Additional surgeries may occur for various reasons, including but not limited to capsular contracture, implant rupture, to take advantage of newer implant technology, or simply to change the size and/or shape of the implant. There are a lot of variables, which makes it tough to give a simple answer on this one. It just depends on the patient.

What can I do to ensure that my breast implant surgery goes as smoothly as possible?

The first thing you should do is make sure you work with a reputable breast plastic surgeon—someone who will take the time to walk you through all of the various issues related to pre-op preparations, post-op recovery, and ongoing breast care.

Once you find a surgeon you like, make sure you spend time consulting with them and setting clear expectations. Guarantee that both you and your surgeon are on the same page about the desired results.

Here at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we emphasize consistent communication with patients. We always want to spend some time getting to know you before the procedure, making sure we have a shared goal and a clear understanding of what the outcome should be.

During your consultation, we invite you to ask any additional questions that aren’t addressed here. We are always happy to provide clarity. To learn more about what you can expect from breast augmentation, connect with Charlotte Plastic Surgery today.