Frequently Asked Questions

Are modern silicone implants safe?

Successive generations of Silicone Breast Implants since the 1960’s have seen continuing improvements and refinements making them far safer than the originals. Today’s Cohesive Silicone Gel Implants are a far cry from the Liquid Silicone Gel Implants of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Moreover, all implants used in Australia have been thoroughly assessed and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and deemed to be safe and effective devices.

Do implants need to be routinely replaced every 10 years?

We frequently get asked this question and our simple answer is NO!  Although the exact life span of any implant is unknown, we believe that unless there is a specific problem, implants do NOT need to be replaced.  We see no justification in subjecting every woman with implants to the inconvenience, costs and risks of repeat surgery every 10 years if there is no problem.

How much time do I need off work?

This will vary with the procedure you’ll have and the type and amount of physical work you do. Generally, sedentary “non-physical” occupations such as office work need only around 10 days off work whereas more physically demanding jobs require longer.

When can I resume exercise or get back to the gym?

This will depend largely on the type of surgery you’ve had.  Generally, if you’ve had implants put ‘under the muscle’ you will have to wait longer before resuming vigorous physical exercise than if your implants are ‘in front of the muscle’.  With implants ‘under the muscle’, you should be able to resume lower body exercises (e.g. exercise bikes, moderately-paced walking) after about 3 weeks and upper body/treadmill after about 6-8 weeks.  Needless to say, whenever you decide to resume exercising, you must resume it GRADUALLY AND IN STAGES.  If the activity doesn’t cause you any discomfort, you can increase it a little each time.  However, if it causes discomfort, wait for two weeks and then try it again.  Eventually, you’ll be able to do it without discomfort.  Most importantly, when exercising in the first 3 months, always wear a supportive sports bra.

What are the advantages of Polyurethane Foam-Covered Implants?

Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants – commonly called “Furries” – have been reported in a number of studies to DRAMATICALLY reduce the chances of the commonest complications after Breast Augmentation that require repeat surgery: Capsular Contracture & Implant Displacement (implants moving from their original position). Unfortunately for patients, not all surgeons offer these.

What strategies exist to reduce the chances of developing Capsular Contracture?

Over the years, various strategies have been recommended to prevent Capsular Contracture – the most common reason for repeat surgery.  One such strategy, still recommended by some surgeons, is to massage the breasts post-operatively to ‘keep them soft’.  Like other strategies, this too has proved totally ineffective!  The ONLY PROVEN way to dramatically reduce the risk of this commonest complication and lower your risk of repeat surgery is to choose Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants – manufactured in Germany by Polytech. However, these implants do require special techniques with which not all breast surgeons are familiar.  At Breast Excellence, our Certified Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr George Mayson, is one of the largest users of these proven-safer implants.

Why don’t all Breast Augmentation Surgeons offer Polyurethane Foam-Covered Implants?

Unfortunately for patients, not all Breast Augmentation Surgeons are currently offering Australian women the opportunity of considering these proven-safer Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants because:

  • Not all surgeons will admit that complications with Smooth and Textured Implants are more common.
  • Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants are more difficult and time consuming for a surgeon to use: the implant pockets need to be designed a little differently, the positioning of the implants needs to be very precise, and adjustments and refinements of the implant pocket during surgery are often required to deliver the best possible results. For a surgeon just starting to use these implants, there is a long ‘learning curve’ and many surgeons are either unwilling or unable to master the different techniques these implants require.
  • Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants cost more, and with the current era of heavily-discounted Breast Augmentations, these implants are not being offered by clinics seeking to contain their costs and appear more attractive to prospective patients on price.

Owing to the proven ability of these implants to dramatically reduce the risks of the most common complications after Breast Augmentation – and in turn lower the risks of repeat surgery – we believe that every woman considering Breast Augmentation should at least be offered the Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants for her to consider.

How you would you feel if your Smooth or Textured Implants developed Capsular Contracture, or moved out of position, and you were faced with costly repeat surgery after your surgeon had not offered, or even worse, talked you out of Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants that may have prevented your complication in the first place?

Accordingly, if you find that the surgeon you are seeing:

  • does not offer these implants as one of your choices; OR
  • tries to talk you out of these implants; OR
  • has limited experience in their use ….

…. you owe it to yourself to seek a second opinion from one that does!

How old do you need to be to have Breast Augmentation?

Most women seeking Breast Augmentation fall into the 19-50 age group.  That is not to say Breast Augmentation cannot be done in women older than 50 or in girls as young as 18 but the surgeon needs to carefully check their suitability.

Will I still be able to breast-feed with Breast Implants?

Although it is said that implants can interfere with breast-feeding for various reasons, it is very unlikely if

  • the implants have been placed ‘under the muscle’; and
  • you have not selected an overly large implant size; and
  • the sensory nerve to the nipple has not been inadvertently injured during surgery.

What type of Anaesthesia is best for Breast Surgery?

Although Breast Augmentation can theoretically be performed under Twilight Sedation and Local Anaesthesia, for optimum patient comfort and safety, General Anaesthesia is recommended.

What are my choices in Breast Implants?

Implants come in varieties of Type (Silicone or Saline), Shape (Round or Tear-Drop), Surfaces (Smooth, Textured or Polyurethane Foam-Covered) and lastly Size.  Our Surgeon will discuss all these choices with you at your detailed Initial Consultation but most importantly, will always allow you to choose the size you like best!

How can I be sure I’ve chosen the right implant size?

At Breast Excellence, we have a large array of different brands of implants in all the various shapes and sizes for you to insert into a crop-top in front of a mirror and actually see the correction each can give you. This is by far the best way to choose the size of implant. Letting the surgeon recommend what he thinks will suit you best, or selecting from a catalogue, is NOT a reliable way to choose an implant size.

Why are special considerations important in Asian Breast Augmentation?

Firstly, some surgeons fail to take into consideration the generally smaller figures of Asian women and recommend the larger implant sizes preferred by Western women – the result being that they look disproportionately big and obviously fake! Although we are happy to insert whichever implant size a patient wants, we always advise our Asian patients to choose an implant size that is in proportion to their overall figure, makes them look great but still natural, and certainly not fake!

Secondly, Breast Augmentation in Asian women must consider the final scar appearances because Asian skin has a tendency to leave brown, pigmented scars. It doesn’t happen to everyone and some Asian skin colours are more prone to it than others.  Our Surgeon will assess this possibility at your Initial Consultation and if they feel you are at risk of brown scars, may recommend the Trans-Axillary (Armpit) approach in order to locate any brown scars away from the breast.

Which implant position is best?

Four implant positions are possible:

  1. ‘Under the Muscle’ (Sub-Muscular)
  2. ‘In Front of the Muscle’ (Pre-Pectoral, sometimes called Sub-Glandular)
  3. ‘Under the Sheath of the Muscle’ (Sub-Fascial)
  4. Dual Plane Placement (Partly ‘Under’ & Partly ‘In Front of the Muscle’)

Each position has its pros and cons but generally we prefer the sub-muscular position whenever possible as it avoids a ‘stuck on’ look in those with poor tissue coverage. However, the best position for any given patient can only be determined by their breast appearances, their chest measurements and their lifestyle activities- all of which are assessed at the initial consultation.

Do I need to routinely replace implants every 10 years?

We do not recommend ROUTINE implant replacements every 10 years for the simple reason that we don’t believe in subjecting every woman to the repeat costs, inconvenience and risks of repeat surgery when there isn’t a problem.  Instead, we recommend regular testing to check on the integrity of the implants and only advise replacement if there is a problem.

What makes up the total cost of a Breast Augmentation?

The total cost of a Breast Augmentation is made up of all the individual costs of:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Anaesthetic fees
  • Hospital charges
  • Implant costs
  • GST

Our Surgeon will give you a written, itemised quotation at the end of your Initial Consultation

What do I need to do before my Breast Augmentation?

During the two weeks prior to your surgery, you must follow all our printed Pre-Operative Instructions. In particular, have your pre-operative blood tests, mammograms if required, avoid all the blood-thinning preparations listed and purchase your the recommended bras and TED stockings .

What do I need to do after my Breast Augmentation?

Don’t over exert yourself and avoid exercise and stress which increase your pulse rate and blood pressure. Be up and about but take things easy, follow strictly our Post-Operative Instructions and avoid alcohol during the first week. Sutures should be removed after 11 days, not earlier.

What will my Breast Augmentation scars look like? 

If the incisions have been made under your breasts and you have white skin,  your final scar should be an inconspicuous thin white line 4-6cms long in the fold under your breast. If you have selected the Armpit Approach, these fine scars will be hidden within a skin crease in the armpit. Please note, however, that if you have brown or Asian skin, there is a higher chance of your final scars being pigmented, so you may wish to consider the Trans-Axillary (Armpit) approach to hide any brown scars away from the breast .

What is a Mastopexy? 

A Mastopexy is the medical term for a a Breast Uplift and is the appropriate treatment when there is  excessive sagging of the breasts as a result of pregnancy/breast feeding, major weight loss or ageing.

What does a Mastopexy involve? 

A Mastopexy or ‘Breast Uplift’ corrects major sagging of the breasts by removing the over-stretched breast skin with the result that the skin envelope of the breast becomes tighter and the breast moves upwards.  No breast tissue is removed in a Mastopexy, so your breasts won’t be any smaller. However, if you wish your breasts to also be bigger, implants can be inserted at the same time and this is known as an Augmentation Mastopexy.

The amount of time required for a  Mastopexy will depend on the actual design of the ‘Lift’ and can be as little as 2 hours for a minor Lift or around 4 hours for an ‘Anchor’ design Lift.  Choosing to also have implants inserted at the same procedure will make your surgery a little longer.

Generally, an overnight hospital stay is required.

Do I need a Mastopexy or an Augmentation Mastopexy?

Whether you have a simple Mastopexy (Breast Uplift) or an Augmentation Mastopexy (Breast Uplift + Implants) simply depends on whether you are happy with your current breast size or you wish to be bigger.

Can I claim part of my Mastopexy costs on Medicare?

If you meet Medicare’s eligibility criteria, you will be able to claim a portion of your surgical and anaesthetic fees. Moreover, if you do qualify for a Medicare Item Number and you also have Private Health Insurance, you may be able to also claim part of your hospital costs depending on your Fund and Level of Cover.


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