Breast Implant FAQs
Breast implants are a popular procedure today because so many women want more feminine curves and larger, fuller breasts. New York City plastic surgeon Tracy Pfeifer, MD has been performing breast implant surgeries with excellent results for more than 18 years. To help clear up any questions, she has provided answers to some commonly asked questions about breast implants.
How old do I have to be to have breast implants?
Although there is no scientific basis for the requirement, under FDA regulations, you must be at least 22 years old to receive silicone breast implants. For saline breast augmentation implants, you must be 18 or older.
What types of implants are currently available?
Dr. Pfeifer performs breast augmentation surgeries with several different types of implants. Each type has its own advantages, and the doctor may recommend one type over another in your particular case. Types of implants currently available are:
- Saline implants (filled with a sterile saline solution)
- Silicone implants (with new gel formulas that maintain their integrity and inhibit leakage)
- “Gummy Bear” implants (anatomically shaped implants filled with cohesive silicone gel with a consistency similar to Jell-O that does not flow)
How do I know if my implants should be placed under or over the muscle?
Dr. Pfeifer will evaluate your body type and the best implant placement method for you. Saline implants can produce a natural, attractive result when placed below the pectoral muscle. Silicone implants are softer than saline and produce a more natural slope when placed under the breast tissue and over the muscle. The amount of natural breast tissue and the size and type of implant are all factors to consider regarding the best placement.
How often will my breast implants need to be replaced?
It is a common misconception that breast implants should be periodically removed and replaced every so many years. There is no need to replace your implants unless you have developed complications, such as capsular contracture (hardening of the breast tissue around the implant), rupture, or deflation.
Will breast implants give me more cleavage?
The answer depends on how far apart your breasts are placed. Cleavage depends on the width and shape of your chest and how close together your breasts are located. If they are set wide apart on your chest, implants can give you more fullness, but not more cleavage. If you are narrow below the shoulders with breasts set close together, implants can give you more cleavage.
How do I know if I need a breast lift along with my implants?
You may need a breast lift if your nipples hang lower than the crease at the juncture of your breasts and chest wall. You can easily gauge how much your breasts are sagging by standing bare breasted in front of a mirror and placing a ruler against the crease under your breasts. If the central part of the nipple hangs below the top of the ruler, you may need a breast lift in conjunction with breast augmentation surgery.
How long does it take to recover from breast implant surgery?
Average down time after breast implant surgery is approximately 1 week. You may need up to 2 weeks if your implants are placed under the muscle. No heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for 2 weeks. Our patients wear a sports bra 24/7 for the first two weeks after the surgery. You will be provided with complete instructions for post-operative care so your recovery goes smoothly.
How do I decide which breast implant option is best for me?
It is best to consult with a medical professional about the best type of implant in your particular case. Tracy Pfeifer, MD provides personalized, state-of-the-art care for her breast implant surgical patients. When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Pfeifer, she will conduct a thorough evaluation before recommending the best breast implant type and placement for you.