Mythbusters on Silicone Breast Implants from a Top Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Most Chicago plastic surgeons will say that patients believe a lot of urban myths about silicone’s use in breast implant and its use in the field. Here are five common myths:

  1. The volume of implants directly affects the size of the bra

This is a common myth and is somewhat true but with one modification – the size before the operation must be taken into considerationBreast Surgeon Chicago and then the volume of the implant must be added. So, basically not all patients that receive a 350cc implant will look the same nor will they always form a “C” cup.

There are patients with smaller builds and constitutions, who with a 275cc implant receive a massive enhancement. While in taller women with broader shoulders and back, sometimes even a 400cc implant will get “lost” and the patient should choose larger. A rule of thumb, relatively, is that every 180 cc increases the bra size by one, but the best method is to try the demo implants in front of a mirror and choose the one that looks the best. Remember that there is no standard cup size between all the different bra companies. This is why we focus on “volume change” and not necessarily “cup size” change.


  1. Bra size is the best measure of breast size

At some point during consultation the topic of bra size will pop up, but that is not the only quantitative measure available. In fact, most women notice larger discrepancies in numbers that depend on the manufacturer or label. In Europe, there are three ways to indicate bra size, and America and China add three more. That type of variance complicates any sort of “standard”. The objective way is to use a ruler and describe the size of the breasts, girth, diameter, meridian, height of the nipple from the top of the chest bone, shoulder width and waist, and all parameters taken into consideration for the selection while also listening keenly to the patient and her goals.


  1. Only one “real” way to increase breast size

At one point, breast implant insertion under the glands was popular, but then came  the “under the muscle” approach. Both have positives and negatives. To complicate this, a new method arrived combining the two, called dual plane. The technique choice depends on the wishes of the patient, her lifestyle, sport activity, the amount of time she has for recovery, and pain tolerance threshold. Most experts will agree that dual plane gives the best aesthetic results but it is not appropriate for all women.


  1. Silicone is dangerous!

This may be true if cheap and unchecked implants are used. The implants that are used are ones that have a lifetime guaranty. Modern silicone implants are very safe and are approved by the FDA. Even if they are cut in half….they do not “spill out” like older implants. Before, it was thought that they got in the way of breast exams but now radiologists have learned to interpret mammography and ultrasound results of women with implants. There is increasing talk about ALCL (a low grade lymphoma associated with breast implants). The truth is, it is exceedingly rare (less than one in a million chance). It is also seen less often with smooth implants, which are the ones most often used for breast augmentation.


  1. Everyone will know.

Not really. When looking at photographs it can get really hard telling the difference. Both anatomical (“gummy bear”) and smooth implants look exceptional and mimic natural breasts. Today’s implants are typically the same “shape and feel” as natural breasts in the hands. In fact, the idea that the implants do not change their constitution with time is actually a plus!


Dr. Ramsen Azizi at R.A.M. Plastic Surgery is an expert in breast augmentation procedures using silicone. For a consultation with a top Chicago plastic surgeon, call us today!


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