Common Myths About Breast Augmentation Surgery

by | Breast Augmentation, Plastic Surgery

For such a common procedure, there are several myths about breast augmentation that you really need to understand before you can make an informed choice. Through my experience as a plastic surgeon speaking to patients over the years, these are some of the key things people wonder about:

Myth #1: Breast implants will look unnatural

Truth: There is no doubt that everyone has noticed a bad breast augmentation surgery – whether at the beach or in celebrity images. The reality is, the outcome of this surgery does not have to be that way, and really shouldn’t be that way. Breast augmentation should give a fuller, perkier, youthful, beautiful and natural looking breast. If you don’t want a stranger to know you have had a breast augmentation, then it is very important to make the right choice about implant size, shape and position. Some people want a little more fullness in the upper breast, which can still look great and give a youthful shape to the breast. However, no one needs to fear looking “fake”, so long as they choose their surgeon wisely; poor decisions and bad advice are the reason for “fake” looking results.

Myth #2: There will be a lot of scars

Truth: The scars are almost imperceptible in most cases, over time. The incisions can be hidden under the breast, at the edge of the areola, and in the armpit. Each incision choice has pros and cons, which I review with my patients during their consultation.

Myth #3: Implants only last 10 years

Truth: Implants today are manufactured better than they have ever been before. In the past, implants were made of liquid silicone. When the shell of the old-style implants ruptured, the silicone would get into the capsule that surrounded the implant. However, that all came to an end in 1992. Since being reintroduced in 2002, silicone implants are made of cohesive gel and even if cut, they do not leak. They are very durable. You can actually see videos of plastic surgeons driving over them with their cars. I communicate with my patients that although any device can get wear and tear, we have no idea how long that will take. I routinely remove implants placed 35+ years ago by my predecessors. If those ones lasted that long, who knows how long today’s breast implants will last.

Myth #4: Most people wish they had gone bigger

Truth: I couldn’t disagree more! I think that a beautiful breast augmentation, (and for that matter any plastic surgery) looks its best when it still looks natural. My goal as a plastic surgeon is to create perfect, fuller, perkier breasts that look so great it may leave people wondering whether you had surgery, but they should never know for sure. I never want it to be obvious to strangers that someone has had breast augmentation surgery. I regularly see patients that have had surgery elsewhere coming to me to revise their breasts, and usually downsize their implants because they want a more natural appearance. The other thing about large implants…the bigger they are, the harder they fall. In addition to downsizing implants, I am starting to see a lot of patients to repair the “droopiness “ they have developed from going too big. In cases where patients want a large implant, I make sure to advise them about the expected result in the near and long term.

Myth #5: My surgeon will choose the best implant

Truth: Although some surgeons will pick the implant size for their patients, I think this is a recipe for unhappiness. It is really a joint decision. My goal is to give my patients perfect breasts, (perfect breasts are all in the eye of the beholder), and to do that I really need to know what it is that they want. At the time of surgery I am awake, and they are asleep, so I don’t have the luxury of asking them which implants they think look the best. That is why… the more I can understand about what my patients are looking for, the better able I am to give them the result they want. I have at least four different techniques that I use to help patients pick the perfect implants. This is done at the consultation stage and during surgery.

Myth #6: It is a simple surgery

Truth: The concept sounds simple… make a pocket and place an implant, however making perfect breasts is far from simple. Most plastic surgeons that do cosmetic surgery, do breast augmentations. If it is so simple, why are there so many people coming to me seeking revisions? Why are there so many international conferences that focus on breast augmentation? The reality is, a lot of surgeons get themselves into problems because they don’t do all the little things right. They over-dissect the pocket. They weaken the support structures. They choose implants poorly. They don’t respect the heightened need for sterility for an implant surgery. They leave excess blood in the pocket. These problems can be avoided the majority of the time, with careful and meticulous technique; all of which will minimize the need for a revision surgery or other complications. My area of expertise is breast surgery, including creating breasts from nothing, in the setting of mastectomy patients. In doing so, I have learned a lot of tricks and techniques. By doing the very complicated procedures, it makes the breast augmentation easier, but by no means do I ever underestimate the need for precision.

Myth #7: I should know what to expect after one consultation

Truth: I think it takes time to really figure out what patients want in their breast augmentation surgery. This is not something that can be rushed. Hopefully the breasts that I create for my patients will be beautiful for years to come. I think it takes some time to discuss their goals, to go over implant sizing, and to review photos of their ideal breasts so that I can best know what my patients want. Although I use my expertise to help guide my patients, I see my role in the consultation process as helping them to figure out exactly what they want. Sometimes what they say they want… and words they use… simply do not match-up with the implants they are asking for. I take time to help sort that out. It is not a process to be done hastily. These are hopefully going to be your breasts for the rest of your life. In general, I see patients on two occasions, but I am always happy to see them as much as needed, to make sure that they are going to get what they want in the end.

Myth #8: It is a 25 minute procedure

Truth: This surgery needs to be customized every bit as much as any other surgery. It can be a quick procedure. In fact some surgeons take a lot of pride in how fast they can do it, as a boasting point. However, I would prefer to boast about beautiful results and happy patients. I will usually take measurements ahead of time, have patients try different implant sizes, have them bring me photos of breasts that are “ideal”, as well as breasts that are slightly too big and slightly too small. All of this gives me the information to create a beautiful breast that matches their goals. I also bring several implant options to the surgery and several trial sizers so that I can see exactly how things will look. I sit the patient up to make sure they look as nice upright as lying down, and then compare to other implant sizers that are close in size but may have a slightly different shape. It never ceases to amaze me how two implants similar in size, but differing in dimensions, can have such a different result. In virtually every case, there is a perfect implant that the whole surgical team looks at and agrees that it is the best choice. That is a very different (and a slightly longer) surgery than the 25 minute procedure, where the implant is chosen in the office ahead of time and hopefully is good enough.

I hope this blog relieves some concerns and sheds light on common myths about breast augmentation surgery. Breast augmentation surgery can produce beautiful and natural looking results. Some of my very happiest patients are those who I have done breast augmentation surgery for.

When the appropriate amount of time is taken to go over your goals and to really choose the best implant, both during your consultation and during the surgery itself, patients are generally extremely happy.

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Absolutely hands down the best! Dr Shortt is very skilled surgeon and has a warm, caring personality along with a sense of humour which will keep you at ease throughout the whole process. You are in the best hands should you choose Dr. Shortt. Thank you Dr Shortt and Joanne for making my surgical journey a great experience!

It’s Been 28 Years …

I was reviewing breast transfer procedures on real self. Dr. Shorrt had comment on a previous post. I checked out his profile/website and decided to go for a consultation. I was glad that he actually conducted the consultation. I’ve been to one where the Dr.’s assistant did the initial one. He was very easy to talk , to express your concerns. He was very knowledge. Some doctors are in rush to explain things. “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” . I felt very comfortable right away. I knew I wanted him to be my surgeon.

All in all I can not say enough good things about my experience with both Dr. Shortt and his staff

Dr Short t was my surgeon for breast reduction, tummy tuck, bra-line back lift and panniculectomy. I was at ease upon our first meeting. I felt he genuinely was on my side and interested in my well being. Although the surgeries I have undergone have been major , the pain was surprisingly minor. I have had excellent recoveries and shockingly minimal scaring. I could not be more satisfied with having been his patient. I did some research about plastic surgery and costs were in line with others. All in all I can not say enough good things about my experience with both Dr. Shortt and his staff

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I had lost an excessive amount of weight. After success in living a healthier lifestyle I found that the extra skin impacted my health in other ways. Dr Short completed a Belt Lipectomy.
My experience through the consultation visits and pre and post surgery was very positive!
Dr. Shortt was detailed with my questions leaving nothing to my imagination, defining the realities I would experience throughout the process. He was specific through the preparatory work that needed to happen and made me feel connected and comfortable with the procedure.
Dr. Shortt is professional, extremely knowledgeable as a plastic surgeon, and has the ability to communicate to people with clarity during each appointment!
I have also appreciated the office environment and connections with Joanne as she answered my questions with efficiency and genuine care.
Dr. Shortt is highly skilled in what he does, and he has the character of caring and valuing as he speaks with you. Dr. Shortt wants great results for each person and sets a very high standard, in which I am grateful!
I am really happy with the whole process from start to finish and excited about the outcome of having this surgery!
Thank you Dr. Shortt!

I had a bump on my thumb removed by Dr Shortt a few years ago.

I had a bump on my thumb removed by Dr Shortt a few years ago. It was e third time I’d had it removed, as it kept growing back, but since Dr Shortt removed it, it hasn’t returned!

I’m very pleased with the results of my explant surgery.

Dr Shortt was recommended to me for my explant surgery. I was informed he was the best surgeon for the job and that I would be very happy with the results.
We met on a couple of occasions before the surgery and discussed the options of new implants, fat grafting or just an explant. He was courteous, respectful and very knowledgeable.
He respected my decision to just have the explant surgery and didn’t try to sell me on other procedures. He is all about what’s best for his patients. When I had my pre-op at the hospital, the intake nurse couldn’t say enough wonderful things about him and his skills. That solidified it for me.
I’m very pleased with the results of my explant surgery. It was a unique case in that the implants had completely liquified. They were done 8 years ago by another recommended surgeon in Burlington, not Dr Shortt himself. It seems they were just defective.
Dr. Shortt noted that he had never seen any implants come out in that condition. I appreciate that he is following up with the manufacturer to inform them of the situation.
if you are choosing implants, please do your research and educate yourself and if you choose to have them done, Dr. Shortt is your guy.

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Recently I had Dr Shortt remove a large lump from the back of my leg. His genuinely friendly manner immediately put me at ease.
In the hospital, he explained how the procedure was going to work, which made me feel comfortable. The actual procedure took less than 5 minutes, with no pain. I was completely relaxed, knowing I was in good hands. Dr. Shortt is a true professional, with an amazing bedside manner. I’d trust him to do absolutely any surgical procedure and would feel confident that the outcome would be very successful.

Feel and look better than ever before.