Breast augmentation is one of the most frequently requested surgeries. Implants are inserted behind the breast tissue of each breast or behind the pectoralis major muscle thereby increasing the size of the breast. Silicone implants are made of thick material and filled with either saline or an antibiotic solution during the operation.
About Breast Augmentation Surgery
Inserting The Implant
Implants can be inserted in a number of ways. Typically, the surgeon goes in just underneath the fold of the breast. Other options are cutting in through the darker part of the nipple or inserting the implant in the underarm or axilla area. To avoid scars, some surgeons place breast implants through the belly button using a special endoscope.
Types of Implants
Saline implants are considered 'safer' than silicone implants due to the connection silicone has to autoimmune diseases. If a saline implant ruptures, your body will absorb the saline fluid. Also, with saline implants, the patient may feel 'rippling' on the side of the implant. If the implant is just under breast tissue, 'rippling' may be visible. Some of the 'rippling' may be eliminated by overfilling the implant by ten percent. Another complaint about saline is that it doesn't feel more like breast tissue unlike silicone. One benefit of saline implants is less incidence of capsulary contracture, scarring around the implant.
If a silicone implant rupture, the body will not absorb the silicone. Indeed, leaked silicone has been found in the local and distant lymph nodes. As mentioned previously, it does feel more like breast tissue and has an increased incidence of capsular-scarring contracture.
Every operation has risk. The three most prominent are bleeding, infection, and scarring related to the scarring around the implant. In addition, for breast augmentation patients there is the chance that the implant will interfere with with breast cancer detection during mammography. It can hide suspicious-looking patches of tissue in the breast, making it difficult to interpret results. In addition, some women are not able to breast feed after getting implants.
Every augmentation patient will have a foreign body reaction to the implant. The degree to which this occurs depends on your own individual response and how you heal. Sometimes so much scar tissue will develop that the implants will harden. A classification system called Baker's Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 is used to classify the severity of the reaction.
Baker's Class I shows no scar contracture. Class 2 and Class 3 are differing degree of scar contracture. Class IV results in significant, painful, noticeable contraction. Contraction can tempered by improving the placement of the implant under the muscle or switching over to saline implants. When the implant is removed or scar tissue removed, it is only necessary to use the same incision. Textured wall implants tend to decrease the amount of capsulary contracture around the implant because it disorients the collagen bundles.
A breast implants can rupture through wear and tear or from a hard blow to the chest. If it is saline, the breast implant will go flat as a pancake, and the leaked saline from the implant will be absorbed by the body instead of being treated as a foreign material, because salt water is naturally present in the body). However, some patients develop a fever and a rash with the rupture of a saline implant. With silicone implants, ruptures are harder to detect. The breast may lose its overal shape or have a distortion or an irregular contour.
Recovery from breast augmentation initially takes four days. Complete recovery time is four to six weeks. Overall, the risk factor is minimal if the patient is in good health. Pain is moderate and most patients are uncomfortable for the first four days. Surgeon fees for augmentation range from $3,000 to $4,000. Saline breast implants cost anywhere from $950 to $1,300 and silicone breast implants usually cost about $1,800. Patients also have to pay for anesthesia fees and the use of the operating room.