Plastic surgery for breast implants increases in popularity every year. Breast implants surgery has become one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the world. Breast implants can be very successful when performed on the right patients, but the surgery is not always appropriate for every woman.
In general breast implants can be used for following reasons:
Reconstruction – breast reconstruction after mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast);
Cosmetic – surgical change of breasts’ size and shape for cosmetic and esthetic reasons.
Modern medicine and modern medical technologies made breast implants surgery easier, more effective and with less risks and side effects.
Breast implants come in many sizes and shapes. The type of breast implant that you choose for surgery should be based on your desired change in profile and cleavage. Factors include positioning, surface texture, shape, personal anatomy and other considerations.
Two types of breast implants are commonly used – silicone gel implants and saline (sterile salt water) implants.
Silicone Breast Implants. The different types of breast implants that are filled with silicone have been controversial for decades. Silicone filler breast implants have long been associated with serious health complications like connective tissue disorders, and local implant related complications like capsular contracture, leakage, and rupture. Because the different types of breast implants filled with silicone are thicker than those made of saline, a rupture may be silent and symptoms may not be noticeable. This complicates the ill effects of a ruptured implant, potentially leading to significant health problems.
Some producers argue that new silicone implants are safer and more durable than before.
Saline Breast Implants. Saline filled breast implants have been the most popular implants on the market for some time. These different types of breast implants were considered safer because, in the event that they rupture, saline is considered less toxic than silicone. Saline implants are not free from complications, however. Like silicone, saline implants can shift, change shape, harden, leak, rupture, and ripple. All different types of breast implants are associated with the risk of causing pain, infection, loss of sensation in the breast area, scarring, the ability to breast feed and more.
Once you decide to have breast implants, you should think and make decision about several factors relating to your breast implants:
Breast Implants fill – saline or silicone?
Breast Implants surface – textured or smooth?
Breast Implants shape – round or teardrop?
Breast Implants profile – low, moderate or high?
The minimum age for getting saline breast implants is 18, unless the implants are needed for reconstructive purposes. Cosmetic breast augmentation is not recommended for anyone younger than 18 because they may not be mature enough to make an informed decision. Additionally, their bodies and breasts may not have reached their full adult size.
The minimum recommended age for silicone-filled implants is 22. This is a different minimum age than for saline implants; the risks of silicone-filled implants are greater than with saline implants, so a greater level of maturity is required.
Both silicone-filled and saline-filled implants have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.
In general, silicone-gel-filled implants are smoother, softer and feel more like natural breast tissue than their saline-filled counterparts. Silicone implants feel like a semisolid gel, while saline implants are often likened to water balloons. Silicone-gel implants are also less likely to wrinkle and ripple than saline breast implants. Wrinkling is actually considered one of the major disadvantages of saline implants. The thinner the woman and the less breast tissue she has, the more likely the saline implants crinkles and wrinkles will be felt and even seen.
Saline breast implants have been considered advantageous because if ruptured, the saline can be easily dissolved by the body. A disadvantage is that saline implants are more likely to show ripples through the skin.
Breast Implants’ Risks
There are many breast implants’ risk factors that are important to consider before making final decision concerning breast implants. Breast implant risk factors can be greatly reduced if the procedure was done by highly qualified experts. Unfortunately, some breast implant risk factors are present irrespective of the surgeon’s skill or degree of care. Some breast implant risks are inherent to the surgical procedure itself, others are a result of surgical error, and still other breast implant risk factors relate to the nature of implants.
Breast Implants risks during implantation (related to the surgical procedure):
excess bruising or bleeding,
Breast Implants risks during recovery (for the first month or longer following plastic surgery):
loss or reduction of sensation in the breast area,
Breast Implants risks due to breast implants (due to the nature of the implants themselves):
These breast implant risk factors can be greater for patients who seek an extreme enhancement of their breast size, or those whose bodies react unfavorably to breast surgery.
Long-term Breast Implants risks
Long-term Breast Implants risk factors are primarily local complications related to the implants. Capsular contracture is one such breast implant risk. The scar tissue that normally forms around the implant can squeeze the implant, causing it to rupture. Rupture and deflation are other serious breast implant risks that can require additional corrective, replacement, or removal surgery.
Breast Implants’ Side Effects
Settling – Breast implants, especially when placed sub-muscular; require several weeks or even months after the breast augmentation surgery to settle into their permanent position.
Swelling – The combination of increased volume from the breast implant and swelling from surgery may cause breasts to feel large, heavy, and tight.
Bruising – Depending on the size of the breast implant and the way it was placed during surgery, some mild bruising may occur.
Nipple Sensation – It is not uncommon after breast augmentation surgery for the nipples to become either very sensitive or numb. This change in sensation is due to disturbance of the nerve pathways during the surgery and is usually temporary.
Pain – The pain experienced after breast augmentation surgery is most often described as mild to moderate. Pain will diminish rapidly during the first few days after surgery and continue to improve as the skin and muscles stretch to accommodate the implants.
Itching – Breast augmentation surgery causes a lot of stretching of the skin. While the stretched out skin grows to accommodate the new volume of the breasts, it tends to itch quite a bit.
Scars – There is no way to prevent this. The best way to minimize the appearance of the scar is to have it placed in an inconspicuous location and allow your incision to heal properly by avoiding infection, stretching, or trauma to the incision site.
Infection – Infection is caused by the introduction of bacteria into the body through the incision. Signs of an infection include redness, localized swelling, warmth, and tenderness. Fever may also be present, but not in all cases.
Mammography – There is a risk that breast implants may impede breast cancer detection. During mammography, X-ray, or ultrasound the implants could hide suspicious tumors or lesions.
Capsular Contracture – capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue forms a capsule that compresses the implant, causing it to become hard and misshapen. This can occur any time after breast implants surgery.
Double Bubble – Occasionally, one or both of the breast artificial implants shifts below the fold where the breast meets the chest, creating a line or indentation across the bottom of the breast. This double bubble breast augmentation complication can occur if the implants are too large or if they are poorly positioned, among other reasons.
Leaking or Leaching of Breast Implant Material – There have been studies of possible harmful effects of breast artificial implants materials leaking or leaching into the surrounding breast tissue.
Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma – Breast artificial implants may increase a woman’s risk for anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare lymphoma (blood cancer) that affects white blood cells called T cells. ALCL may occur in the capsule of scar tissue that forms around the implant.
No implant will last forever. Implants can break or rupture, causing deflation. Many ruptures result from the natural aging of the implant, excessive compression to the breast, or trauma to the breast. The most noticeable effect is that the size and shape of the breast change. Depending on the size of the rupture, changes in breast appearance can occur over a few days or over a very long period of time.
Breast Implants Removal
Breast implant removal may be required for a number of reasons, including the development of a complication like capsular contracture, implant shifting or rupturing, asymmetry, a diagnosis of breast cancer or general dissatisfaction.
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.