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5 Myths About Breast Surgery Debunked

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There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding breast surgery, whether for augmentation, reduction, or reconstruction. These myths can cause unnecessary fear and anxiety for those considering the procedure, and they can also spread misinformation that can be difficult to correct. 

Understanding the truth about breast surgery can help individuals make informed decisions and feel more confident about their choices. In this article, we will debunk several common myths about breast surgery, providing accurate information and clarity on the subject.

Myth 1: breast implants need to be replaced every 10 years

A common myth about breast implants is that they must be replaced every ten years. This misconception likely stems from outdated information and a misunderstanding of implant longevity. While it’s true that breast implants are not considered lifetime devices, they do not automatically need to be replaced every decade.

The lifespan of breast implants can vary greatly, depending on the individual and the type of implant. Some people may need replacements after a few years due to complications like rupture or capsular contracture, while others may have implants that last 20 years or more without any issues. The key is regular monitoring through check-ups with a healthcare provider. 

It is essential to follow up with your surgeon regularly to ensure the implants are still in good condition. If you experience any changes or symptoms, such as pain or changes in breast shape, it’s crucial to seek medical advice. Regular imaging tests, like MRI or ultrasound, can help detect any potential problems early, ensuring that any necessary replacements or interventions can be planned and managed effectively.

Myth 2: you can learn everything from videos about breast surgery

In today’s digital age, many people turn to online videos to learn about medical procedures, including breast surgery. While videos about breast surgery can be informative and provide a visual understanding of the process, they should not be your sole source of information. Watching a video can give you a general idea of what to expect, but it cannot replace the personalised advice and expertise of a qualified surgeon.

Videos often simplify complex procedures and may not cover all the nuances of individual cases. Every patient is unique, and factors such as medical history, body type, and specific goals can influence the outcome of surgery. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential to address your specific concerns and provide tailored advice based on your needs.

Moreover, videos can sometimes present a biassed or overly optimistic view of breast surgery, focusing on positive outcomes without adequately discussing potential risks and complications. It’s crucial to have a realistic understanding of both the benefits and the risks involved in any surgical procedure. Your surgeon can provide a comprehensive overview, including what to expect during recovery and how to minimise potential risks.

By all means, use videos as a supplementary tool to gather information, but always prioritise direct communication with your healthcare provider. This approach ensures you receive accurate, personalised information and make an informed decision about breast surgery.

Myth 3: Breast Surgery Is Only for Cosmetic Reasons

Another prevalent myth is that breast surgery is solely for cosmetic purposes. While many people choose breast surgery to enhance their appearance, there are numerous medical reasons why someone might undergo the procedure. Understanding the full scope of breast surgery can help debunk this misconception.

Breast reduction surgery, for example, is often performed to alleviate physical discomfort. Women with very large breasts may experience chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain, skin irritation, and posture problems. Breast reduction can significantly improve their quality of life by reducing these physical burdens.

Breast reconstruction is another critical aspect of breast surgery, particularly for women who have undergone mastectomy due to breast cancer. Reconstruction aims to restore the breast’s shape and appearance, helping survivors regain their confidence and sense of normalcy after a challenging period.

Myth 4: Breast Surgery Is Extremely Painful

Many people fear that breast surgery will be unbearably painful, deterring them from considering the procedure. While it’s true that there is some discomfort associated with any surgical operation, advancements in medical techniques and pain management have significantly reduced the pain involved in breast surgery.

During the surgery, anesthesia ensures that you do not feel any pain. Post-surgery pain management is a crucial part of the recovery process. Surgeons typically prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort you might experience. Over-the-counter pain relievers and prescribed medications can effectively control post-operative pain, making the recovery period more manageable.

It’s also important to note that pain tolerance varies from person to person. Some people may experience more discomfort than others, but this is generally short-lived. A majority of patients report that the pain subsides significantly after the first few days, and they can go back to their normal activities within a few weeks.

Myth 5: you can’t breastfeed after breast surgery

A common myth surrounding breast surgery is that it will permanently impair your ability to breastfeed. This misconception can cause significant concern for women who are planning to have children in the future but are also considering breast surgery.

The truth is that many women who have undergone breast surgery can successfully breastfeed. The ability to breastfeed after surgery depends on several factors, including the type of surgery performed and the specific techniques used. For instance, if the surgery involves incisions around the areola, there is a higher risk of damaging the milk ducts and nerves critical for breastfeeding. However, if the incisions are made in other areas, such as under the breast or in the armpit, the impact on breastfeeding can be minimal.

Surgeons are increasingly aware of the importance of preserving breastfeeding ability and often employ techniques designed to minimise disruption to the milk ducts and nerves. During your consultation, discuss your desire to breastfeed with your surgeon. They can provide information on the best surgical approach to preserve your ability to nurse in the future.


There are numerous myths surrounding breast surgery that may lead to unwarranted fear and misunderstandings. By debunking these common myths, we hope to provide a clearer understanding of what breast surgery entails and alleviate some of the concerns that individuals may have. 

From the longevity of implants and the importance of professional consultations to the diverse reasons for undergoing surgery and the realities of pain management and breastfeeding, having accurate information is crucial. If you’re considering breast surgery, make sure to seek advice from qualified medical professionals to make informed decisions that are best for your health and well-being.

Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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