Breasts have significant influence on a woman’s physical appearance as the have historically became the symbol of fertility. One breast is naturally smaller than the other, yet the degree this asymmetry changes individually. In some cases one of the breasts may be missing from birth. Today, achieving symmetry or increasing breast size is done using silicone implants. Although its possible to use the patients fat tissue to partially increase breast size, results will not be completely permanent. Crucial material of the implant is the surrounding silicone part whereas the filling may vary. Each technique used in breast augmentation surgery has individual advantages and disadvantages.
Products that consist of silicone are widely used for various purposes in medical and cosmetic industries. There are round breast implants and teardrop shape implants which are also called anatomical implants and which shape to use depends on the needs of the individual patient. The outer layer consists of silicone and has a certain texture which properly fits tissues around it.
The filler material can be a type of silicon base gel or saline solution or it may be empty and filled with saline during the surgery.
If the candidate is older than 40, a mammogram is initially required and other screening techniques such as breast ultrasound may be needed depending on the situation. Every surgery has its own individual risks. One of the most common complaints after breast augmentation is swelling and pain around the breast. Infections and bleeding are also some rare complications. Some patients experience a certain amount of sensitivity around the nipples or numbness around the incisions which may subside or increase with time although this is mostly temporary. It has been claimed that breast implants cause certain connective tissue disorders, difficulty nursing or an increase in breast cancer chance yet none of these claims have scientific merit.
In some cases the implant may have defects. Tightening of the tissue around the implant results in firmness or hardening of the breast as a capsular layer forms. Thinner layers don’t cause any problems, medium size layers may cause firmness. Light and medium capsular contracture can be assisted with massage and in some cases additional surgeries. Very rarely the body may reject the implant and try to either enclose or dispose the implant. In such severe cases the implant needs to be surgically removed. Although the outer layer of the implant is rather thin, its extremely resilient. Light and medium intensity massaging is safe. The patient can start sleeping face down around 2 months after the surgery. In some cases the filler material can leak out of the implant and if the material is gel based certain masses can form in the area. If the filling is saline the leak is harmlessly absorbed by the body. Ripping of the implant is extremely rare and only occurs under extreme physical trauma such as a car accident or falling from heights. The implant does not prevent any screening techniques such as mammograms later on and its recognizable as an empty region in the scan. Implants do not increase cancer chance. If cancer occurs, standart treatment is followed without problems.
It is important that you explain your complaints and expectations to your doctor clearly before the surgery and discuss the techniques and the type of implant which will be used.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia in the hospital. It typically takes 1 to 2 hours. A 4-5 cm incision is made in order to insert the implant. The incision will be either under the breast along the natural crease of the breast (Submammarian), under the nipple around the areola (Sirkumareolar) or under the arms (Axillary). Regardless of the type of incision, scars will only be noticable right after the surgery and become less and less apparent in time. Depending on the patient the implant may be placed behind the breast tissue or behind the muscle tissue.
The patients are often relatively comfortable after the surgery. Pain is minimal. If the implant is placed behind the muscle tissue, certain movements can be painful and restrictive. A special bra or bandages are used for support. If non-dis-solvable sutures are used they are removed within 10 to 12 days. Swelling, numbness and minor bruising may be present early on. These symptoms will subside on their own quickly. The patient can go back to work in 3 to 4 days and implant will settle in 3 weeks after the surgery. Strenuous physical activities are not recommended up to 2 months.