Breast augmentation surgery, sometimes referred to as a “boob job” or breast implant surgery, is a surgical procedure that uses implants to increase the breast size. This procedure restores the roundness and fullness of the breasts, especially when volume is lost from events such as dramatic weight loss or pregnancy and breastfeeding. The type of implant used for surgery depends on the specific needs and wants of the patient.
Breast implants are not meant to last a lifetime. They have a lifespan of about 10 years. At the present time a MRI is the test of choice to evaluate the integrity of the implants. Other factors such as aging and weight changes can change the appearance of the breast as well.
Saline or Silicone Implants: Which Are Best?
There are several types of breast implants, primarily made with either silicone or saline.
Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water. Structured saline breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with saline solution, and have an added inner structure to make the breasts feel more natural.
Silicone implants are made of a silicone shell filled with viscous silicone gel. Silicone implants are approved by the FDA for use in individuals who are 22 or older. This is to assure that the breast tissue is fully developed.
Round breast implants are the same shape throughout. These implants can achieve more projection than other types of implants, making them higher profile.
Smooth breast implants are the softest type of implant. They are made of silicone, can give the appearance of more natural movement to the breasts.
Gummy bear breast implants can be teardrop shaped, with more protrusion near the bottom of the implant and tapering near the top, or have a round shape. They are filled with a silicone gel that is slightly thicker than the gel used in traditional implants. These require a longer incision when inserted than other implants. They are sometimes referred to as form stable implants, as they retain their shape even if the implant has ruptured. Presently the thicker gel can also be found in round implants, depending on the implant brand.
Textured breast implants cause the scar tissue to stick to the implant, thus they are less likely to reposition themselves. However, breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma occurs most frequently in those who have textured implants.
Breast Implants & Cancer
Breast implants are FDA-approved, and undergo extensive safety and effectiveness testing before they are put on the market.
There is no conclusive evidence linking all breast implants to increased risk of cancer. However, when textured implants are used, some individuals have a very low risk of developing breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a type of cancer of the immune system that can develop near the implant. The BIA-ALCL cells are usually found in the fluid surrounding the implant, or in the fibrous scar capsule surrounding the implant. This can be treated in most patients when caught, usually by removing the implant and the scar tissue. The risk of BIA-ALCL is higher for textured surface implants compared to smooth surface implants. There is no difference in risk when looking at saline filled versus silicone filled implants.
Different Type Of Breast Augmentation Techniques
Those who are physically healthy, whose breasts are fully developed, and who are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding can be candidates for breast augmentation.
During a breast augmentation, the patient is under general anesthesia. There are three different types of incisions that may be used. An axillary incision under the arm, a periareolar incision around the nipple, or an inframammary incision in the crease under the breast. After the incision is made, a pocket is created by separating the breast tissue from the connective tissue and muscles of the chest. Then the implant is inserted and centered. A transumbilical breast augmentation, also known as a tuba, is another type of augmentation technique. The breast implant is inserted through an incision just above the navel. Silicone implants are not placed through the navel due to the possibility of damaging the implant.
Saline implants are inserted while they are empty and are filled only once they are in place. Silicone implants on the other hand, are made pre-filled with silicone gel. The incision is closed with stitches after surgery and then bandaged.
“I was a full figured kid in high school but I was also about 40 lbs heavier than I am today. I lost 40 lbs 18 years ago, and have kept it off. I became a personal trainer, taught weightlifting, and while I became lean and “jacked” as my friends say, I also lost the fat in the D breasts. When I was young and first lost it, my boobs didn’t seem saggy. But with aging and time and nursing my daughter for 6 mos, they were so droopy. I decided to get a breast lift this year, and Dr. Hardaway explained that implants are needed to give me the full C look I wanted. I had my procedure today, and yes I feel sometimes intense tightness on my chest, but it actually doesn’t hurt! I’m amazed. Dr. Hardaway and her team were so caring and loving. They listened when I had questions. They made sure my support people understood the post-op instructions. So far I’m in awe of their talent and professionalism.”Read More Testimonials