Many women would love to have fuller, firmer breasts, because they weren't born with the breast size or shape to compliment their body type. Having breasts
that give a full, feminine curve to a woman's body can boost self confidence, and eliminate anxiety about body image. For some of our patients, Breast Augmentation
provides breast volume and shape that has never been present, while for others it restores fullness and balance to their feminine figure that has been lost during
weight changes or after pregnancy.
Through an informative process we will assist you in selecting an implant that provides a natural result that fits your body and enhances your overall beauty. We have found that education is the critical underpinning to a successful outcome. Our patients' experiences are less stressful and more predictable as they become
aware of the options and choices available to them and arrive at a decision under the thoughtful guidance of one of our doctors. As physicians, we feel strongly that
cosmetic surgery is a doctor- patient relationship, not a business transaction, and we are certain you will appreciate this difference from your initial consultation
through your final recovery.
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Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants were first popularized in the 1960's. Controversy in the early 1990's led to widespread fear about the possibility of silicone breast implants causing
autoimmune diseases in women. Extensive studies since then have showed no evidence that silicone breast implants have any relationship to breast cancer, autoimmune disease
or any other systemic illnesses in patients. Specifically, patients with breast implants have no higher incidence of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or
lupus, in comparison with the general population.
The Food & Drug Administration approved the use of the third generation silicone gel implants in November of 2006 for women 22 years of age and older. These implants
are not filled with liquid silicone, but rather a cohesive silicone gel.
The increased safety of the cohesive gel implants led to the FDA's approval of these implants for cosmetic use. Saline implants are FDA approved for breast augmentation
in women 18 years of age and older. The FDA set the age of approved use higher for silicone gel implants to ensure that a woman is emotionally mature enough and fully understands
the risks of these implants.
There is no perfect breast implant and both the saline and silicone gel breast implants have advantages and disadvantages. The silicone gel implants feel softer and more natural,
have less chance of rippling, but are more expensive and have a higher chance of developing tightening of the scar tissue around the implant known as capsule contracture.
The manufacturers of silicone gel implants (Mentor and Allergan) recommend that you get an MRI after 3 years and then every 2 years thereafter to ensure that your implants
are not leaking. Insurance will likely not cover the cost for an MRI. The manufacturers also warn that your insurance carrier may increase your health premiums or decline
coverage if you have silicone gel implants.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants are very safe and if they become damaged or deflate, your body will absorb the water. Saline implants are more prone to rippling and feel less natural than silicone.
We will review the implants with you at your consultation and help you to decide which implant is best suited for you.
Our experience suggests to us that there is approximately an annual 1% risk of leakage from saline implants. The FDA clinical trials for silicone gel implants suggest a leakage
rate of 8-15% over the course of 10 years. Replacement is generally a relatively simple operation. Additional cost is involved, but most implant companies offer warranties that help
offset a small portion of the fees for up to 5 to 10 years.
Positioning of the Breast Implant
Implants can be placed beneath the pectoral muscle of the chest wall or directly behind the breast tissue. Most patients will have their implants placed behind the chest
muscle unless there are anatomic considerations that warrant the implants being placed directly behind the breast tissue. Some studies have suggested that implants placed behind
your chest muscle have a lower risk of forming capsular contracture (scar tissue that hardens around the implant) and interfere less with breast examination by mammogram than if
the implant is placed directly behind the breast tissue. Placement behind the muscle does lead to more muscular discomfort in the initial days after surgery than placement directly
under the breast. Drainage tubes are almost never necessary during Breast Augmentation. All incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches and a water tight dressing is placed over
the incision, enabling you to shower the next day. The total surgery time is approximately 1 hour.
All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty Risk.
Breast Augmentation is relatively straightforward. But as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
The most common problem, implant failure, is actually not that common. Most studies suggest that the implant failure rate is approximately 1% per year. When saline implants fail
the saline leaks out and is absorbed by the body and the breast deflates. When silicone implants fail, the silicone typically does not migrate beyond the implant pocket. Silicone
implants do not "deflate" and because they do not cause many symptoms, often the only way a failure is detected is by MRI or other imaging study. For this reason, it is recommended
that patients with silicone gel implants have regular MRI follow-up of their implants.
Capsular contracture, or scarring around the implant pocket, occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. This squeezing of the soft implant can cause the
breast to feel hard. Capsular contracture can be treated in several ways and sometimes requires either removal or "scoring" of the scar tissue or perhaps removal or replacement of the implant.
As with any surgical procedure, excessive bleeding following the operation may cause some swelling and pain. If excessive bleeding continues, another operation may be needed to control
the bleeding and remove the accumulated blood. A small percentage of women develop an infection around an implant. This may occur at any time, but is most often seen within 1 week after surgery.
In some cases, the implant may need to be removed for several months until the infection clears. A new implant can then be inserted.
Some women report that their nipples become oversensitive, under sensitive or even numb. You may also notice small patches of numbness near your incisions. These symptoms usually
disappear within time, but may be permanent in some patients. There is no evidence that breast implants will affect fertility, pregnancy or your ability to nurse. If however, you have
nursed a baby within the year before augmentation, you may produce milk for a few days after surgery. This may cause some discomfort, but can be treated with medication prescribed by
A few women with breast implants have reported symptoms similar to diseases of the immune system, such as scleroderma and other arthritis-like conditions. These symptoms may include
joint pain or swelling, fever, fatigue or breast pain. Research has found no clear link between silicone breast implants and the symptoms of what doctors refer to as "connective-tissue disorders.
While there is no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer, they may change the way mammography is done to detect cancer. When you request a routine mammogram, be sure to go
to a radiology center where technicians are experienced in the special techniques required to get a reliable x-ray of a breast with an implant. Additional views will be required.
Ultrasound examinations may be of benefit in some women with implants to detect breast lumps or to evaluate the implant.
While the majority of women do not experience these complications, you should discuss each of them with Dr. Constantine to make sure you understand the risks and consequences of Breast Augmentation.
The Institute of Facial and Cosmetic Surgery offers Breast Augmentation in Salt Lake City. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation please contact us today!
Breast Augmentation, Breast Implants, Breast Enlargement and Breast Enhancement procedure information.