Breast implants guide: Essential information Introduction If you were thinking about increasing the size of your breasts with the help of plastic surgery, you must have a ton of questions. While there is a lot of information available online and offline about this procedure which is nowadays the second most commonly performed procedure worldwide, it can be difficult to navigate through it and understand what is myth and what is reality. Breast augmentation can be performed also using the patient’s own fat cells, but most often it is done with breast implants. The breast implants we use nowadays are very different from what was popular a decade ago. In this article, we will discuss the details of breast augmentation surgery and give you some essential information about breast implants. The ABCs of breast augmentation with implants Just having a look online researching about breast augmentation and breast implants can be overwhelming. So many information is available that it can be difficult to know where to start. Just like any other surgical procedure that is performed on an elective basis, the first step you need to take when it comes to getting breast implants is choosing the plastic surgeon who will perform your procedure. Make sure to find a reputable, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who performs this procedure routinely. While the procedure is very popular, the experience of the plastic surgeon can make all the difference between spectacular results and a need for revision surgery. During the initial meeting with the plastic surgeon, you will find out all the details about the procedure and the breast implants that will be used. Depending on your anatomical characteristics and desired results, the plastic surgeon will develop the surgical plan. Aside from the type of implants to be used, it is also important to know where the incisions will be made and the placement of the implants inside the breasts. Generally speaking, we have three types of incisions that can be used for breast augmentation: periareolar, which is around the areola’s edge; inframammary, which is in the fold under the breasts; and transaxillary, which is on the axilla. Each incision type has its own benefits and disadvantages that will be explained by the plastic surgeon in detail. When it comes to the placement of the implants inside the breasts, we also have three types of placements available. First is the submuscular placement which means that the implants are placed under the pectoral muscle. Then, there is the subglandular placement where the implants are under the mammary gland, and the dual plane placement where half of the implant is under the muscle and the other half is under the mammary gland. The procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia and often takes less than two hours, depending on the complexity of each case. The hospitalization period is also short, so the patient can leave the medical facility and return home the same day. The recovery period is of about two weeks during which patients are advised to follow the recommendations of the plastic surgeon to the letter to avoid complications. Breast implant guide An important part of the success of your breast augmentation surgery is related to the breast implants used. The breast implants need to complement your anatomy and create a harmonious appearance. Before anything else, it is important to understand that there are no two patients alike. This means that if your friend got certain implants and achieved results you would also like, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get the same type of implants. The implants have to be chosen taking into consideration multiple factors such as: – Anatomy of the patient (height, weight, measurements of the thorax, etc.) – Initial condition of the breast tissues – Aesthetic goals of the patient Nowadays we are using the fifth generation of implants that are very different from the ones used one or two decades ago. Keep in mind that breast augmentation with implants has been performed for many decades now and the quality of the implants used has improved considerably. With each generation of implants, the manufacturers correct flaws or complications associated with the implants before them. There was a time when breast implants were forbidden to be used as it was believed they might be associated with breast cancer. Nowadays, multiple studies have demonstrated that there is no higher risk for women with breast implants to develop breast cancer than women without implants. After getting breast implants, patients are advised to have a mammography every year or every two years, especially if they are over the age of 40. This means that because of these regular checkups, it might be possible to find and diagnose breast cancer in the early stages. This often means higher survival rates for patients developing cancer. Types of implants There is a wide variety to choose from when it comes to breast implants. However, the decision about what implants are the most suitable for a certain patient is made after exact measurements and taking into consideration the patient’s aesthetic goals. The content of the breast implants can be saline solution or silicone gel. In the case of saline solution implants, they are actually made out of a silicone case that is filled with the saline solution after being inserted into the breasts. The filling of the implants after their placement inside their pockets often means that a smaller incision is required. The periareolar incision is often used for these types of implants. However, saline solution implants are more prone to rippling, so it is important to weigh in the pros and cons before choosing the filling of the implants. Silicone implants are made out of highly cohesive silicone gel that is safe to be used inside the body. This is the same type of silicone used for other medical devices that are used for heart surgery and other types of surgical procedures. Silicone implants are more similar to the natural tissues of the breasts in terms of consistency and come in different profiles which can be beneficial for patients who want to control the shape of the breasts better. The gummy bear implants are the new generation of silicone implants that are preferred nowadays by most plastic surgeons and patients as they allow for a beautiful augmentation while having minimal risks and complications. For example, one issue that was associated in the past with the use of implants was the migration of the silicone in case of the rupture of the implant. If the new gummy bear implants rupture, the silicone will stay close to the capsule of the implants due to its high cohesive factor. The implants can also have two different shapes: round and anatomical. Anatomical implants are the tear-shaped implants used for patients who desire to have a very natural shape of the breasts, while round implants are perfect for women who want to enjoy breasts that are more round and appealing. The external surface of the implants can also be smooth or textured. The textured surface is said to reduce the incidence rate of developing capsular contracture. Breast implants come in many sizes, starting with 120 ccs and even up to 1000 ccs with some manufacturers. Their characteristics are different from one producer to the other, and this is why it is important to select a board-certified plastic surgeon who can recommend the best quality implants. When choosing the volume, keep in mind that your spine will carry that extra volume every day, and an excessive size of the breasts can lead to health complications such as back, neck and shoulder pain, not to mention an abnormal body posture. Ask your plastic surgeon for recommendations in terms of what is the most suitable volume for breast implants. Conclusion Breast augmentation surgery performed with the help of implants is one of the most popular and desired procedures on a global level because it is the only safe and efficient method to get great breasts technically overnight. Of course, the patient has to go through one or multiple meetings with the plastic surgeon before the procedure to discuss the details and to choose the best implants that can help her achieve her aesthetic goals. Breast implants can be made out of saline solution or silicone gel and come in various sizes, depending on the manufacturer. Breast implants can also be round or with an anatomical shape and a textured or smooth surface. Depending on the characteristics of your anatomy and your expected results, the plastic surgeon will guide you to choose the most suitable type of implants.