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10 things you should know about silicone implants

Introduction

Breast augmentation surgery using silicone implants is one of the most sought-after cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. Many women aspire to undergo this surgery to enhance the appearance of their breasts and to correct particular flaws. This surgery involves the insertion of silicone implants into the breast tissue. Despite its popularity, very few people actually know how it is performed, the risks that accompany the surgery as well as the results that one should expect from this intervention. The patient should always take the surgeon’s recommendations into account when deciding on the most appropriate course of action for someone who wishes to undergo this sort of surgery.

What is silicone?

Silicone is an artificially synthesized substance that is specifically manufactured for the purpose of breast augmentation and other medical uses. The fact that this material is being used as a prosthetic means that the body does not react adversely to silicone and this also means that this substance will not trigger allergies.

The use of silicone implants can be traced all the way back to the early 1960s when the first silicone breast implant surgery was a success. Over the decades, both the implants and the surgical techniques have been developed to come up with a safer and more efficient surgical procedure. Moreover, unlike some of the baseless accusations about silicone implants, no research has confirmed that silicone causes cancer.

The silicone implants used in breast enhancement surgery are made to resemble real breasts and so they feel supple and they mimic the movement of natural breast tissues. These are also some of the reasons why silicone is used in butt implants and facial reconstruction surgery. The results achieved with silicone implants are considered long-term.

Facts about breast augmentation with silicone implants

  1. During the first two days following the breast augmentation surgery with silicone implants, the patient will experience mild to moderate pain and swelling around the bust area. However, the plastic surgeon will prescribe pain relief medications to help manage the pain.
  2. The breast implant surgery has a longer downtime in comparison to the fat transfer surgery. The breast augmentation with silicone implants can take 2-3 months to recover from. However, the patient is advised to walk around as soon as possible and the patient may be able to work a week after the procedure. The only restrictions on the patient involve avoiding strenuous activities such as running, exercising, jumping and weight lifting. Though some patients may recover in the 1st month, excessive arm movements are not advisable.
  3. A change or loss of nipple sensation is normal after breast augmentation surgery. The nipples and areola may become hypersensitive after the introduction of the implants; however, this change in sensation should resolve itself after a few months.
  4. Infections are common complications of any type of surgery. This is why most surgeons prescribe antibiotics to the patients during the first week of their recovery. The plastic surgeon may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs if the degree of swelling is intense and is discomforting. If an infection occurs deep within the breast tissue, the implants will have to be surgically removed, the site will be cleaned and disinfected before inserting a new implant.
  5. After the breast augmentation surgery, walking may be uncomfortable. Fortunately, this symptom should subside within 3 to 4 days. The patient should walk slowly to keep the blood from clotting but the patient should also minimize movement for at least one week.
  6. Similar to loss of nipple sensation, the breasts may become less sensitive following breast implant surgery. This is also temporary and normal breast sensation should return within 2 to 3 weeks.
  7. In terms of scarring after silicone implant surgery, the scars are expected to become less noticeable after one to two years. The patient can then enjoy the full results of the procedure.
  8. Excessive bleeding is also possible near the surgical site and a collection of blood, otherwise known as a hematoma, may also form near the surgical site. In the event that excessive bleeding and seroma occurs, drain cannulas will be insufficient to treat severe bleeding and additional surgery may be required.
  9. Breast implant rupture is possible for silicone gel implants. Although implant rupture occurs very rarely, it is difficult to detect because the silicone gel implants do not immediately deflate or change shape. The good news is that the silicone will not migrate to other parts of the body and this complication is usually limited to most inexperienced surgeons with poor instrumentation.
  10. Capsular contracture is a common complication of silicone breast implants. This is a condition wherein scar tissue hardens and forms a capsule around the implant. This condition can only be treated by additional surgery to remove the implant and the capsule.

Conclusion

Silicone implants are effective when it comes to increasing the size of the breasts. However, patients must get acquainted with the procedure beforehand, so they are not met by surprises. You should discuss with your surgeon the steps of the procedures, the risks involved, and what should you expect in terms of recovery and results after the surgery.

Your surgeon will be the one to determine whether wearing compression garments is necessary after the breast implant surgery. However, you should frequently clean the area surrounding the surgical site to avoid infections. Though it may seem discomforting, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions to help you heal faster and achieve better results. The initial result can be observed soon after the surgery but the final results will not be completely obvious until the surgical site has completely healed and the inflammation has fully subsided.

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