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Busting Breast Surgery Myths: Pains, Drains & Autologous Fat Grafting

The world of plastic surgery is full of myths and half-truths. And some procedures, such as breast augmentation, seem to have more than their fair share of persistent myths. Breast augmentation patients at my Long Island practice often say they’re afraid of excessive pain, drains, and other unpleasant elements of the surgery — and are happy to hear that such concerns may not be real at all. Here are 3 of the most common myths about breast augmentation that are still circulating:

  • You will experience a lot of pain. Today’s short-scar breast augmentations minimize incisions and reduce the duration of the healing process. Experienced plastic surgeons have streamlined the entire surgical process, making it more efficient from start to finish. As a result, the recuperation period is shorter and more comfortable than it used to be.
  • You will need drains after breast augmentation. Surgical drains are used to reduce fluid accumulation after surgery. This is especially common in procedures such as tummy tuck, when the surgery creates an area of “open space” under the skin for fluid to build up. However, this is not a concern after breast augmentation. Throughout my years of practice, none of my breast augmentation patients have ever required surgical drains.
  • For bigger breasts, implants are the only option. In the past, this myth was certainly true. Implants have long been considered the best and most effective option for surgical breast enlargement. But in recent years, autologous fat transfer (or moving a patient’s own fat from one area to another) has found a niche for itself in the world of breast augmentation. The procedure harvests fat from a patient’s abdomen, leg, or other part of the body via liposuction and transfers it to the breasts. Previously, fat transfer was recommended for women who desired only a subtle increase in volume, because the transferred fat was often reabsorbed by the body. Today’s techniques for fat grafting have streamlined the procedure, yielding results that last longer and look and feel very natural.

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