Breast Augmentation – General Information
Breast Augmentation is becoming more and more common with this type of cosmetic surgery becoming one of the fastest growing types of cosmetic surgery. There are two reasons why women would want to undergo this procedure. In 80% of cases, it is for cosmetic reasons, 20% are for breast reconstruction after surgery.
There are three questions you need to ask yourself if you’re considering undergoing a breast augmentation procedure.
Why do you want implants?
What do you expect to get from Breast Implant Surgery?
Are you prepared for long term follow up and possibly future surgery and the expense that this will entail should it be required?
You must remember that Breast Augmentation Surgery is a major invasive surgical procedure which is carried out under general anaesthetic along with all the normal risks which are undertaken when invasive surgery is conducted.
There are two types of implants, Natural tissue and Synthetic Implants which are both quite different.
Natural Tissue Implants are normally used for Breast Reconstruction surgery. They are very rarely done for cosmetic reasons. The patients own tissue is used to reconstruct the breast. The tissue comes from either the back or the abdomen. This tissue is then attached to the chest and moulded into a breast shape. The surgeon must carefully remove and re-direct muscles and blood supply in order to keep the new breast healthy. The procedure may also involve nipple re-construction. Ideally, the original nipple will be removed and re-attached to the new breast if it is healthy. However, if that is not possible, then there are synthetic replacements or nipples could be tattooed.
Synthetic Breast Implants are made of two types which are currently available. Those are either a silicone gel or a saline solution. There have been other types in the past, but they are not used anymore due to health risks. Both the silicone and saline implants are both encased in a silicone shell.
There are certain women who are not normally accepted for cosmetic breast implants. Those who are under 18, pregnant, those who are currently breastfeeding, or if you have only a partially treated cancer or an active infection.
There are some risks to Breast Augmentation Surgery which should be considered very carefully as there is no medical benefit to having Breast Augmentation surgery. The only benefits seem to be that women who have Breast Implants have an increase in confidence and self esteem.
The risks are as below. One of those risks is Capsular Contracture. This affects approximately 1 in 10 women. This is where scar tissue naturally forms around the implant this causes the implant to harden.
Another risk is infection. This is a normal risk after any major invasive surgery. This is normally caused by a collection of blood/fluid around the implant. The body can safely absorb a certain amount, but if there is too much, it can cause problems. The usual course of action is to prescribe a course of anti-biotics.
There is also the risk of a rupture although that risk is relatively negligible as modern manufacturing techniques and materials improve. Also, the solution inside the implant is not particularly toxic. The silicone gel will stay in its original shape, and the saline solution can be absorbed safely into the body.
Breast Augmentation is a more and more common procedure despite a significant amount of negative publicity over the safety of breast implants. Those implants which were thought to be unsafe are not used anymore. There are studies being conducted to ensure that those women who have these old implants are safe.