The ABC’s of Breast Implants

Breast implants are used in the surgical procedure of breast augmentation or breast enlargement usually to increase and enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. Other reasons why women seek the use of breast implants include correcting the symmetry of their breasts, improving their body proportion and contours, to restore breast volume and shape following pregnancy, breast feeding or weight loss, or to reconstruct breasts after mastectomy. Many women who have had breast surgery describe a boost in their self esteem and personal confidence. If you are among the millions of women out there considering breast implants and breast augmentation surgery, then you will want to gather as much information as possible.

Just like breasts themselves, breast implants come into different sizes and shapes. The various implant styles and shapes can have different aesthetic results. You have to work closely with your chosen Cosmetic Surgeon during the pre-surgical consultations to ensure that you get the appropriate style and texture to achieve your goals and suit your body shape and size. There are currently two major types of breast implants available from which to choose; these are silicone implants and saline implants. Each type has its own pros and cons, so you have to discuss with your Cosmetic Surgeon which type is best for you. This decision will largely depend on the results you want following breast augmentation.

A saline breast implant consists of a silicone shell containing a mixture of sterile water and salt. Saline implants are relatively safe because the saline solution is similar to body fluids, and in case an implant leaks, the fluid will simply be absorbed by the body. However, saline implants are not as popular as silicone implants as some women believe that they don’t feel as natural. As for the breast augmentation surgery, the silicone shell is inserted empty into the breast tissue, secured in place and then filled with the sterile saline solution.

A silicone implant consists of an elastomer silicone shell filled with a silicone gel that appears to be thick, sticky and clear. The main advantage of silicone breast implants is that they look and feel natural. The silicone gel used in today’s breast implants has advanced in its cohesiveness, allowing it to retain its original shape over time. On the other hand, a disadvantage of this type of implant is that the silicone shell is pre-filled, thereby requiring a slightly longer incision. The choice of incision sites varies; the three options are below the breast in the mammary fold, around the nipple areola or in the armpit. This is also a decision to discuss with your chosen Cosmetic Surgeon.

Breast implants comes in two shapes, round and teardrop/anatomical. While it is up to the patient to choose, Cosmetic Surgeons generally recommend round shaped implants because they tend to create and maintain a better breast shape than the anatomical type which has a tendency to rotate. Another type of breast implant becoming more well-known is polyurethane implants, otherwise known as “furry brazilians”. These can be beneficial for some women, but it should not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach; your Cosmetic Surgeon should discuss with you your options and the benefits and disadvantages of each type of implant based on you as an individual.

The breast implant surgery is generally an outpatient day procedure and may be done under general anaesthesia or twilight sedation. Fees for the procedure include the Cosmetic Surgeon’s fees, anaesthetist fees, theatre/hospital fees and implant costs. Finally, breast implants do have a finite lifespan, typically around ten to twelve years. This can be monitored in regular follow ups post operatively with your Cosmetic Surgeon.

Interested in the next step?
Please get in touch to arrange an appointment
Contact us