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Breast Implants

A breast implant is an artificial device (prosthesis) used to change the size and contour of a woman's breast. In reconstructive plastic surgery, breast implants are used to restore a natural-looking breast structure following a mastectomy. It can also be done to correct birth defects.

In cosmetic surgery, implants help to enhance or enlarge the appearance of the breast through breast augmentation. Breast implantation is one of the most popular and frequently performed aesthetic surgery procedures.

Types of breast implants

The different types of breast implants are

  • Saline implants- Saline implants are elastomer silicone shells filled with sterile saline liquid. If the implant happens to leak, the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body. They provide a uniform shape, firmness and feel.
  • Silicone implants- Silicone breast implants are elastomer silicone shells filled with silicone gel. It provides a more similar feel to that of natural breast tissue. Silicone implants need regular monitoring to make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Gummy bear breast implants- Gummy bear breast implants are form-stable implants. The silicone gel inside is thicker than traditional silicone gel implants making them firmer. Placement of gummy bear implants often requires a slightly bigger incision.

How is the procedure performed?

  • Step 1- Anesthesia

Breast implantation surgery is generally done on general anesthesia.

  • Step2- Incision

Your surgeon will make incisions in inconspicuous areas to minimise visible scarring. Areas under the breasts, under the arms and around the nipples are usually points where incisions are made, depedning on the implant type and size.

  • Step 3- Placement of implants

After making the incision, the breast implant is inserted into either a submuscular (under the pectoral muscle) or a subglandular (over the pectoral muscle)pocket.

The method for inserting and positioning breast implants will vary depending on the type and size of the implant and anatomy of the patient.

  • Step 4- Closing the incisions

After the implant placement, the incisions are closed with sutures or surgical staples.

What are the potential risks?

Some of the complications that may raise from breast implants are:

  • Risks related to anesthesia.
  • Capsular contracture or the tightening of scar tissue that forms around the implant.
  • Persistent pain in the breasts.
  • Numbness or changes in sensation.
  • A possibility of rupture of the implants, with or without symptoms
  • Hardening or disfigurement of the breasts
  • Infection
  • Breast implants may not last long and future surgery may be required for replacing them.
  • Pregnancy and weight loss or gain may influence the appearance of augmented breasts.

Results

Breast implants yield larger breasts soon after the surgery. However, it may take a few days to see the final outcome as the swelling has to subside and the skin should stretch back to normalcy. It is important that you see your breast implants surgeon for regular examinations to evaluate your breast health and implant conditions.

 

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