What are Breast Implants?

Breast Implant Surgery
Woman smiling wearing a bra

There can be any number of reasons why someone chooses to have a breast implant. They are basically designed to improve the size and shape of the breasts in the long term. Over the last decade, the most common reason for women to consider plastic surgery is to have a breast augmentation performed. For women who are aged 18 and above breast implants is a very popular type of cosmetic enhancement.

Basics of Breast Implants

New Jersey plastic surgeons have been performing breast augmentations and implants for many years. The first silicone filled envelope was developed in the 60s and were used for cosmetic enhancement as well as breast construction. Because of some of the adverse side effects they were taken off the market but by the 90s the safety concerns had been properly dealt with and the FDA approved both silicone gel and saline for the filler used in the implants. Either filler is placed into an elastomer shell. Saline fillers remain in liquid form while silicone has several different viscosities. Silicone fillers can be thinner liquids all the way to thickened gels. Because of its aesthetic qualities, silicone is the more popular choice.

Breast Implant Procedures

There are two basic procedures used to perform this type of cosmetic surgery: submuscular and subglandular. For women who have enough existing breast tissue, the implants can be placed beneath the glandular or fatty tissue. There are many cosmetic surgeons who prefer to place the implant underneath the pectoral muscle. This type of submuscular placement provides better concealment of the implant so that the edges are not exposed. This placement also offers better support for the weight of the implant.

Silicone implants are filled before they are inserted; but saline implants are first inserted and then filled with the solution. This influences the type of incision that is needed to place the implant in the pocket which will hold it. The silicone implant is not easily compressed so that the cosmetic surgeon must insert it through an incision which is made just below the breast in the natural crease. Some plastic surgeons are familiar with and prefer methods which use an incision made in the armpit or the areola. Once the access point is determined, saline can be added.

Most Common Reasons for Breast Implant Surgery

Nearly 300,000 women underwent breast augmentation in just 2010. There are quite a number of reasons why this type of cosmetic surgery may be desired. One of the most common is simply that she is unhappy with the breast size following puberty. Sometimes breast implants are desirable to help achieve a much desired hourglass figure. There are also times when it is not so much about the size of the breasts, but the shape; or it may be requested if the breasts are noticeably two different sizes. It may also simply be that a woman wants to feel better about her body. A breast reconstruction is often requested following a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. Usually, women who undergo breast implant surgery pursue it for personal reasons rather than in an attempt to please others.

Recovering from Plastic Surgery

A cosmetic surgeon can do a typical breast augmentation on an out-patient basis. This means that once the surgery is completed, the patient can return home that day as long as a friend or family member is available to help out. Oral medication may be used for a few days to manage the pain and there should be a certain amount of discomfort, bruising and swelling expected. Rest is usually required for about a week following the procedure but sometimes when a patient works at a sedentary job they are allowed to return a little sooner. For the first few weeks some movements such as lifting, pulling or pushing are restricted in order to allow the surgery site to heal properly. Usually non-strenuous exercise regimens can be continued in about a month.

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