There are many myths and half-truths in plastic surgery, and breast implants are no exception.  I often get questions from the internet, from new patients, and even patients that I’ve operated on about breast implants.  Here are the 6 most common myths about breast implants I routinely hear, and the real truth behind them.

Routinely Replace All Breast Implants Every 10 Years

It’s Easy To Damage a Breast Implant By Squeezing

Mammograms Will Damage Breast Implants

A Friend’s Breast Implant, A Similar Result

Cup Size Is Predictable Based on Your Breast Implant Choice

Any Surgeon Can Use Breast Implants

Routinely Replace All Breast Implants Every 10 Years

Surely you have a cheap dad or uncle who always chimes in with, “It it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  No?  Er, me neither.  That’s so uncouth.  Although.  It is true.  If you are happy with your breast implants, you don’t have to change them.  Period.

Your breast implants do not require changing.  Even if they are older than 10 years of age, they can keep on going.  Typically, I only do a breast implant exchange when patients want to change from saline to silicone breast implants, or when a patient desires a larger size.  Not surprisingly, patients rarely change breast implants to a smaller volume or size.

I don’t know why this myth is so prevalent, although I think it’s because the warranty for most silicone breast implants in the USA, lasts 10 years.  But that does not correlate to the life expectancy of the implant.  In fact, the warranties replace defective implants free, for the rest of your life.  You read that correctly: as long as you live, you’ll usually get a free replacement breast implant if you need one.

The only extra warranty feature during the first 10 years, is some added coverage of operating room costs.  AFTER 10 years, the implant is still replaced for free, but the patient is responsible for the operating room costs associated with implant exchange.

Here are the 3 breast implant warranties for cosmetic breast augmentation in the USA:

Mentor   /   Allergan   /   Sientra


It’s Easy To Damage a Breast Implant By Squeezing

This belief simply COULD. NOT. be more wrong.  A breast implant cannot be damaged by merely squeezing it hard.  Even if you are the Hulk.  In fact, breast implants can withstand comical amounts of pressure-  for example, a car or truck running over them in a parking lot.  This fact makes for fun videos, but the amount of pressure a brand new breast implant can withstand is truly amazing.

Sooooo anyways… regardless of your “activities,” your breast implants are safe from normal and even vigorous manipulation.

Mammograms Will Damage Breast Implants

Nope.  To get a great mammogram picture, you have to place your breasts in a device and your breasts are gently compressed.  Make sure to tell the x-ray tech that you have breast implants, and she can slightly alter the compression to get a great picture and not induce too much pain.

Don’t let an unfounded fear of damaging your breast implants stop you from getting mammograms!

A Friend’s Breast Implant, A Similar Result

Well, this may be true if you have an identical twin.  Otherwise, there are probably too many variables between your friend and you.  Examples include- width of breasts, differing amounts of pre-breast augmentation breast tissue, amount of breast sag, tissue response/stretch, and other variables.

Even if you do have an identical twin, there may be differences in weight, number of children you have had, degree of breast feeding, and the list goes on.

Bottom line? Get the size, type and even brand of implants that are right for YOU.  Even among women with similar heights, weights, body types, and life experiences, there will be differences, despite matching implants, in final breast augmentation results.


Cup Size Is Predictable Based on Your Breast Implant Choice

Breast Implants have extremely specific volumes, diameters, and thicknesses.  These numbers are available in breast implant guides, and are stamped on the side of the sterile box that the breast implants come in.

However, these very exact numbers and measurements do NOT translate into a specific cup size, because of variations in patients’ bodies: rib cages, breast width, breast height, skin stretch, laxity, etc.  I can predict a cup size with great confidence most of the time after surgery, but nobody can guarantee your cup size with a specific breast implant.

Articles I’ve written on my blog about breast implant sizing:

What Size is Right For You?   /   How Large Should Your Augmentation Be?

Any Surgeon Can Use Breast Implants

Not true!   Stay with me here.  While it is true that any surgeon, or even doctor, in the USA can do anything they want in their own office, certain types of breast implants (especially the latest and greatest silicone gel breast implants) are difficult or impossible to get UNLESS you’re a board certified plastic surgeon.  The latest generation silicone gel breast implants require extensive online and hands-on training before a plastic surgeon is allowed to purchase them for patients.  Even with the training, Sientra breast implants are only available to board certified plastic surgeons.

So do your homework.  You’ll get a wider variety of breast implant choices and a more individualized result with a board certified plastic surgeon.  Also, a fully accredited surgery center is crucial to your health and care while you’re having breast augmentation.

Here’s an article I wrote about board certification in plastic surgery.

Have any other questions or comments?  Ask away by emailing me at info@drkim.com.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me about the best breast implants for you, email  at info@drkim.com or a phone call at 415 362 1846 works as well.  I look forward to meeting you in person!


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