Myths about Breast Surgery

There are a number of myths about breast surgery that have become widespread and many believe them to be true. There are also popular beliefs that are actually true. For all these reasons, it's necessary to examine the validity of the most frequent claims on breast surgery.
Myths about Breast Surgery

Last update: 14 January, 2021

In today’s world, there are many myths about breast surgery. Perhaps this is because breast surgery is one of the most widely practiced in the world today. This also leads to some exceptional cases becoming a reference, despite them being very rare cases.

The aesthetic surgeries that can be performed on the breasts are very varied. They include augmentation, reduction, elevation and reconstruction, among others. They don’t lose their clinical importance just because they’re aesthetic surgeries, but, in many cases, it’s often exaggerated. This is what gives origin to many myths.

The truth is that science has made great progress in this type of surgery. Today, they can be performed safely, as long as they’re performed by the right personnel and under the right conditions. That’s why it’s important to dispel these myths about breast surgery that doctors perform every day!

Breast surgery

A woman holding breast fillers.

Specialists usually perform breast surgery to achieve a more symmetrical figure. The second most common reason is reconstruction, after having suffered the loss of one or both breasts, or because the breast has had changes due to breastfeeding, age, or weight loss.

The doctors can perform this surgical procedure in several ways. One of the most frequent is by introducing an implant through the lower edge of the areola. However, the most common procedure is inserting the implant through the crease of the armpit or the lower crease of the breast. Sometimes, doctors even perform it through the navel.

The prostheses used are bags containing silicone or an adhesive gel. The implants that are inserted through the navel contain a saline solution. This type of surgery is outpatient and rarely generates complications.

Main myths about breast surgery

Despite the fact that this is a safe procedure that specialists currently perform on a regular basis, there are still many myths about breast operations. Some of the most widespread are the following:

  • This surgery affects breast sensitivity: This is completely false. The intercostal nerves give the breasts sensitivity; these enter the mammary gland from the back. There would only be a loss of sensitivity if the doctor injured a nerve during surgery.

It’s true that the surgery affects the lower area of the breast for a short period after the procedure. This alters the sensitivity, but, over time, everything returns to normal. It’s simply a post-operative effect.

  • The implants could be rejected: This is also completely false. The implants are totally neutral and therefore don’t generate this type of reaction in the body. Sometimes what occurs is a muscle contraction around the implant, which isn’t rejection. It occurs in 2-3% of cases.

Implants placed by accredited professionals follow strict bio-security standards, hence the trust that can be placed in them. However, when the origin is unknown or the surgery isn’t performed by accredited professionals, that’s a whole different story.

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Other unfounded myths

A hand with a breast implant.

Although we already mentioned the most widespread myths about breast surgery, it doesn’t end there. These are a few more mistaken beliefs:

  • Implants prevent breastfeeding: This is false. Breast surgery doesn’t touch the mammary gland and, therefore, doesn’t affect breastfeeding in any way.
  • Prostheses can cause cancer: This is also false. Women with implants can even develop cancer less frequently, since the nodules are more detectable in them.
  • Prostheses are harmful to health: There are no studies, nor is there any evidence that this is the case. That’s why specialists consider it a myth.
  • Saline implants are better than silicone implants: This isn’t true. The doctor is the one who determines which one to use, according to each specific case.

You may also be interested in: Breast Pain Following Plastic Surgery

Truths about breast surgery

Just as there are myths about breast operations, there are also widespread beliefs that have some, or a lot of, truth in them. These are the main ones:

  • The larger the implant, the greater the risk of complications: This is true in many cases. Large implants have greater potential to generate capsular contractions or skin folds.
  • Prostheses are noticeable: only slightly, but they are noticeable; especially to the touch.
  • The appearance of the breast changes over time: This is often true. If the implant is very large, it can stretch the skin and make the breast look droopy.
  • This surgery requires more frequent visits to the doctor: This is true. It’s important to visit your doctor at least once a year to make sure the implant stays in place.
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Original article: Mitos sobre las operaciones de pecho — Mejor con Salud

  • Gordillo Álvarez, I., & Ramírez Alvarado, M. D. M. (2007). Escultores de cuerpos: cirugías estéticas y realities televisivos. In IV Congreso Internacional Comunicación y Realidad (pp. 861-872). Trípodos.