Silicone implants are now available! In Nov. 2006, the FDA approved the use of silicone implants for routine augmentation in women 22 years or older. The main advantages of silicone implants is a more natural feel and lower chance of visible and palpable wrinkling. Disadvantages of silicone implants are greater expense, inability to adjust size, and a longer scar to avoid damaging the implant during placement.
You still have the option of having saline implants. Should the implant rupture or leak, the saline is safely absorbed by the body and poses no health hazard. Implants may be pre-filled prior to placement, or slowly filled at the time of surgery through a self-sealing valve. Implant placement, type and size will be determined based on your breast anatomy, body type and desired increase in size, as well as your plastic surgeon’s judgment. Implant manufacturers occasionally introduce new styles and types of implants; there may be additional options available to you.
Breast implants have not been shown to impair breast health. Careful review of scientific research by independent grounds such as the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) has found no proven link between breast implants and auto-immune or other systemic diseases in women. Implants can, however, create subtle or more noticeable changes in the look and feel of your breasts. Capsular contracture, a condition that causes the naturally-forming scar tissue around a breast implant to contract, occurs in a variable percentage of patients and can make the breast feel firmer than normal. While this condition can be addressed surgically, correction is not always permanent.
You should be aware that breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants. Pregnancy, weight loss and menopause may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of a woman’s lifetime. Breast augmentation requires maintenance over time, including regular examinations for breast health and to evaluate the condition of your implants.
A mammogram may be recommended prior to your procedure to ensure breast health and serve as a baseline for future comparison. Following the procedure, mammography is technically more difficult. Obtaining the best possible results requires specialized techniques and additional views. You must be candid about your implants when undergoing any diagnostic breast exam.