Breast Implants – Cosmetic Surgery

Introduction – Breast Implants

Breast augmentation consists of insertion of a silicone bag or prosthesis or implant under the breast (a submammary procedure) or under the breast and chest muscle (a subpectoral procedure). The bag is usually then filled with saline or salt water. This results in a fuller breast with an improved contour.

Surgical Procedure – Breast Implants

The implant may be smooth and textured. Since the surface is smooth there is a 10% incidence of capsule contracture. Capsule contracture refers to tightening of the scar around the implant causing hardness or a firm rubbery feeling. Occurrence of rippling or wrinkling that makes the whole breast lumpy or wavy is also rare with these implants.

If the surface is roughened or textured  there is a 3% incidence of capsule contracture. However there is also a 7-9% chance of wrinkling and rippling.

The size of the implant is a personal decision by the patient. Mentioning a desired cup size often does not help choose an implant. The best method is to fill a plastic bag with measured amounts of water and place in a bra with the patient’s estimated cup size. This helps estimate the final result.

This silicone implant is usually filled with normal saline (salt water) or silicone gel.
This is usually a minor surgery done in Day Care units taking around one to two hours to complete. General anesthesia may be usually used where you will be made unconscious while the procedure is done. Local anesthesia may also be given as an alternative. In this case an anesthetic is injected around the surgical site to numb the area. The incision is made under the crease of the breast, near the armpits or around the areola or the dark area around the nipple. The purpose of these incisions is to reduce the risk of visible scars.

The silicone bag or implant is inserted within the incision under the breast tissue or under the chest muscles. This silicone implant is usually filled with normal saline (salt water) or silicone gel. Usually saline is preferred because if the implant leaks or ruptures it can be absorbed safely. Sometimes breasts are also reshaped during mammoplasty. This literally means tightening of the breast skin in order to lift sagging breasts. After the implant is properly positioned and fixed and the shape of the breasts altered the incision is closed with fine stitches to aid in rapid healing and fine scars.

- Links of interest:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons website

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons website

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.


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