Breast augmentation has been developed into an art form and the results are excellent for the majority of women. The type of implant which is best for you and the size you desire are greatly influenced by your body type, breast anatomy and the size you want. Other factors which play a role in the type of implant you want include:
- the surgeon's clinical judgment
- the surgeon's skills
- your lifestyle
- your goals and preferences
Today, there are a variety of implants available and each year; implants with new styles and shapes are introduced thus giving you a wider option of selection.
In the majority of cases, breast implants are devices with an outer silicone rubber shell. The inside of the implant can be filled with either sterile water or silicone gel. Today, both fillers have been approved by the FDA for use in North America
Since the silicone controversy of the past decade, every breast implant undergoes rigorous testing for function and toxicity before it is approved for use in humans.
All breast implants size is measured by the amount of liquid volume placed inside the shell.
Besides just filling the implant with a liquid, other important factors which govern a breast implant are:
Texture: it is important that the implant have a soft, round and smooth feel. Most women and men prefer that the feel of the implant be smooth and have a texture similar to a normal breast. Implants with shells which are smooth require a large space and have been associated with a high incidence of what is called capsular contraction. Capsular contraction is simply formation of a thick scar around part of the implant. The scar does become hard and feels rough to touch. It may also cause pain in some individuals. In addition, smooth shells can also wrinkle or have a rippling affect- which may be seen on the surface of the skin as uneven skin or lumpy bumpy skin.
Shells with a rough surface generally have a much lower incidence of capsular contraction but have a higher incidence of causing lumpy bumpy skin.
Shape: even though most implants are round in shape, the shape generally is influenced by the breast anatomy. Even though round breasts are ideal, most individuals end up with oval, tear dropped or oblique shaped breast. These shape changes are subtle and to the average person, may appear nice and spherical.
Profile: depending on your style, profession, and desire, you may select an implant with a high or low profile. The high profile implants are usually obvious.
Size: The ultimate size of the breast is mainly a personal decision by you. The size of breast enlargement is very subjective. Saying one wants to increase the cup size is inaccurate and is not always reflected in surgery. The best way to pick the correct size of breast enlargement is to view photos shown by the physician. The photos will provide a visual idea of how large the breast will finally appear on you.
The surgeon may also demonstrate a breast implant and show you the size which can be obtained by filling the prosthesis with some liquid. One may place the implant under the bra and get a rough idea what the final image will be like.
No matter what size is selected at the initial consult, the majority of females comment that they should have either selected a larger or smaller sized implant.
Breast implants can be placed behind the breast tissue and this is the simplest way to enlarge the breast. However, it is not the best method.
The alternative method is to place the implant under the breast muscle. But this technique is associated with slightly more pain after surgery, but the incidence of capsular contraction and wrinkling of the skin is much less.
Even though the surgeons claim that women of all ages can undergo breast augmentation, this is not correct. Only women who have fully matured breast should undergo breast enlargement. The lowest age at which breast implants can be done is 18, whereas silicone implants are usually approved for women aged 22 and over
There are no breast implants which last a life time. At most, the average lifespan is about 10-15 years and future surgery may be required to replace one or both the implants.
Women who undergo breast implants need regular follow up with their physicians to ensure that the devices are working as designed. Women with breast implants should not undergo mammograms as the risk of rupture is real.
MRI is the preferred method to investigate women with implants