The questions you ask

About augmentation and breast implants

What is a breast implant?

The breast implant is a flexible envelope (a silicone pocket) that is already completed and its contents cannot be modified once the implant is finalised.

What is the purpose of breast implants?

They can be used for reconstruction or augmentation, to correct or improve certain imperfections, shapes and/or contours.

  • Breast augmentation
    This is a cosmetic surgery that can increase both the breasts, correcting any volume differences between them.
  • Replacement of previous implants
    This surgery concerns the replacement of an old implant with a new one.
  • Breast reconstruction
    This is a surgical procedure that aims to restore the natural shape of a breast lost after an illness or accident.
I would like to increase the volume of my breasts. Where do I start?

The first step is to consult a trusted plastic surgeon. By doing this, you will have a proper guidance and answers to all your doubts and questions.

Can I undergo breast implant surgery in total safety?
Obviously, surgery using breast implants requires a careful preliminary investigation of the health of the patient to assess critical pre- and post-operative conditions, these conditions being largely responsible for the overall success of the procedure. Post-operative recovery takes place in the recovery room during about two hours and after returning home, there must be a rest period of 5 to 10 days, without too much effort or physical exercise. Your surgeon will give you an appointment for a check-up a few days after the surgery and several other consultations during the first year, usually 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after the implant placement.
How do I choose the most suitable breast implants?

After an in-depth, meticulous assessment, your surgeon will suggest the best size and type of implant for your figure. A variety of models and sizes is available.

How old must you be for breast augmentation?

The minimum age for a breast implantation procedure is 18 (unless a physician specifically advises otherwise).

How long does it take to see the outcome?

Immediately after the procedure, the breasts will be swollen, firm, painful to the touch and relatively immobile, i.e. they will look unnatural. After about a month, they will be much softer and more mobile, and the swelling will start to go down. Your breasts will not take on their definitive appearance for six months to a year.

Are the products tested at the manufacturers’ premises?

Yes. The qualified medical/health care certification body carries out audits to check that the company and its quality system comply with the relevant standards. In addition, the regulatory testing regimen has been reinforced and the qualified agencies and/or the Notified Body may conduct surprise inspections.

What are the most common risks with silicone gel implants?

Fibrous shell: it is vital that a physiological shell should form around a breast implant. This is a natural reaction by the body that forms a sort of membrane around any foreign body in order to isolate it off.

Distinction is made between four stages of firmness from normal to the most extreme forms of shell with the breast becoming hard, immobile and sometimes painful.

Rupture: this risk is exacerbated by factors such as violent shock and the age of the implant. When a silicone gel-filled breast implant breaks, the gel may stay inside the fibrous shell that surrounds the implant and go unnoticed. Alternatively, it may diffuse out across the shell and inflamed patches of lymph tissue may even form. If a breast implant ruptures, it will be surgically removed and the inflammation will regress.

What to do if there is a problem with my implants?

First of all, get in touch with your surgeon who is the person most familiar with your medical history and who is in the best position to answer your questions.

For any other question, send us an E-mail at: qualite@laboratoires-arion.fr
Can implants contain latex?

As a rule, manufacturers do not use any latex in their implanted devices such as tissue expanders, dummies or breast implants filled with silicone gel, normal saline or aqueous gel.

What effects will pregnancy have on my bosom?

Every woman is unique and every one will have a different experience of pregnancy. Your breasts will swell and undergo all the usual changes in pregnancy. The extent of swelling will vary from one woman to another as well as depending on the size of the implant.

What’s the BIA-ALCL

Based on the scientific literature, a possible, although rare association has been identified between breast implants and the development of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (LAGC-AIM).

It is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the immune system, which can appear in the scar tissue surrounding the implant.

The main symptoms of BIA-ALCL are: an effusion around the prosthesis, breast enlargement or pain in the breast, breast ulceration or lymphadenopathy.

As a precautionary measure, the ANSM has decided to withdraw these macrotextured or polyurethane-coated implants from the French market in order to reduce the exposure of women to this rare but serious risk of LAGC-AIM. *

In case of abundant effusion, increase in volume, pain, inflammation, mass, ulceration in the breast, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately.

Any other abnormality suggesting a complication related to the implant also requires a consultation.

 * Dossier thématique - Retrait du marché des implants mammaires m - ANSM (sante.fr)

For more information, click here.

About the procedure

Is implantation painful?

Everyone’s body responses and pain threshold differ. Bruising, changes in sensitivity and healing processes are all highly variable and they should be specifically addressed with your surgeon to establish the particularities of your recovery.

However, certain recommendations are relevant to most patients and many features of how your condition will progress or your body will change can be predicted.

  • For the first seven to ten days, you should try to move your upper body as little as possible in order to cut down swelling around the implant and bleeding.
  • To stimulate blood circulation and promote healing, you should resume walking a few days after the operation but avoid running and large-amplitude movements of the arms.
  • Do not lift heavy weights for a week or two, including carrying children. If this is unavoidable, use your legs as the lever rather than your arms.


The two breasts often heal and settle in at different rates. Your breasts’ sizes and positions may change for up to a year after implantation but you will begin to appreciate their definitive shapes and positions within 3-6 months.

Depending on how your healing goes, your surgeon – and only your surgeon – will be able to tell you when you can resume your normal activities. For instance, some women go back to work within days whereas others need weeks off.

How long before I can play sports again?

Again, your surgeon is the best person to ask. Every individual is different but all ought to limit activities that put stress on the upper body. Generalization is impossible but on average, sporting activities cannot be safely resumed for 4-6 weeks.

Moreover, it is important that sweating at the surgical incision be minimized while it is healing up, so some types of activity should be avoided until the wound has healed and completely closed up. Remember that volume and weight go hand in hand: the bulkier the implant, the heavier the breast so it will be important to wear a suitable sport brassiere.

Will I still be able to wear an underwire brassiere?

After the healing phase, you may sometimes wear an underwire brassiere. However, this is strongly discouraged for at least the first three months because the reinforcement can exert pressure that leaves a permanent impression in the scar tissue forming around the implant.

Will my breasts be normally mobile?

Breast mobility can be affected by several factors: the type of implant, the dissection of the pocket, how your body supports the implant and whether or not there is contraction of the capsule. Some women will have firmer, less mobile breasts than others.

Will I get stretch marks on my breasts?

Although it is rare, breast augmentation can cause stretch marks. Size is important in this respect and stretch marks are less likely with a smaller implant.

Does smoking affect the healing process?

Wound healing necessitates a good local vascular system and an ample oxygen supply. Smoking compromises vascularization and the blood vessels tend to constrict thereby reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the surgical wound. Your surgeon will tell you how long you ought to stop smoking for before and after the operation.

Should I avoid sunlight, and what about the tanning salon?

Exposure to sunlight and UV radiation has no effect on breast implants.

However, scar tissue can become irreversibly pigmented so exposure should be avoided for at least the first year after the procedure.

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