Breast implants surgery or Breast augmentation surgery is a process in which medical devices are implanted under the breast tissue or under the chest muscle to increase breast size (augmentation) or to rebuild breast tissue after mastectomy or other damage to the breast (reconstruction).
During the operation, a cut (incision) will be made in the skin next to the treated breast(s). After the incision, the implant is positioned between the breast tissue and chest muscle, or behind the chest muscle. Once the implants are in place, the incision is stitched and covered with a dressing.
In modern days, breast implants and breast augmentation are used interchangeably. But the difference is that Breast Augmentation is the name of the Surgical Procedure used to place Breast Implants.
Types Breast Surgery
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They're inserted empty, and then filled once they're in place. Saline breast implants are available to women 18 and older for breast augmentation and to women of any age for breast reconstruction.
Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel — a thick, sticky fluid that closely mimics the feel of human fat. Most women feel that silicone breast implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue. Silicone breast implants are available to women 22 and older for breast augmentation and to women of any age for breast reconstruction.
These breast implants are being defined through the composite filler material. Alternative implants contain miscellaneous fillers. However, these breast implants are no longer present and available because manufacturers stopped producing them.
Implants life expectancy
Breast implant surgery is a lifelong commitment. Breast implants do have a life expectancy of approximately 10 -15 years, after which time they may need replacement. If the implant has not changed in any way, it does not automatically need replacing. However, it is important to realize that the implants will almost certainly need changing at some point during your lifetime.
Implants and breast-feeding
Women with breast implants may have functional breast-feeding difficulties. Functional breast-feeding difficulties arise if the surgeon cut the milk ducts or the major nerves innervating the breast, or if the milk glands were otherwise damaged. Milk duct and nerve damage are more common if the incisions cut tissue near the nipple.
Concerns about the safety of breast milk have also been raised, but there has not been enough research to resolve this issue. Breast augmentation does not usually interfere with breastfeeding and there is no evidence to date that silicone is transferred into the breast milk.
If you have undergone a mastectomy procedure for breast cancer and have an implant for breast reconstruction, breastfeeding will not be possible with the affected breast.
Infection around the implant
If infection develops around an implant, it can be difficult to treat because it is contained in the “capsule.” Antibiotics are given but if these are not quickly effective, it may be necessary to temporarily remove the implant. Antibiotic treatment would continue and replacement of the implant would be postponed for several months. This allows the infection to be fully treated.
Implants and Breasts Sagging
Breast implants won't prevent your breasts from sagging. To correct sagging breasts, you might need to consider a breast lift in addition to breast augmentation.
A breast implant is a “foreign body”, so it is normal for your body to try and isolate the implant. This is done by producing a “capsule” of scar tissue around the implant. In up to 10% of patients, the capsule will become very tight, feeling abnormally hard and causing pain within the breast. Modern implants have a special “textured” surface that helps to prevent this happening.
Implants and Pregnancy
Pregnancy does affect the size and appearance of breasts. After pregnancy, the skin may stretch and implants may not create the same appearance as before the pregnancy.
Implant leakage or rupture
If an implant ruptures, the approach might vary depending on whether the implant is saline or silicone.
Ruptured saline implant
If a saline breast implant ruptures, the implant will deflate — causing the affected breast to change in size and shape. The leaking saline solution will be absorbed by your body without posing any health risks, but you'll probably need surgery to remove the silicone shell. If you wish, a new implant can likely be inserted at the same time.
Ruptured silicone implant
If a silicone breast implant ruptures, you might not notice right away — or ever — because any free silicone tends to remain trapped in the fibrous tissue (capsule) that forms around the implant. This is known as a silent rupture.
Leaking silicone gel isn't thought to cause systemic or long-term health problems — such as breast cancer, reproductive problems or connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Still, a ruptured silicone breast implant might eventually cause breast pain or changes in the contour or shape of the breast. If this happens, your doctor will likely recommend surgical removal. If you wish, a new implant can usually be inserted at the same time.
If an MRI scan detects an implant rupture but you don't have any signs or symptoms, it might be up to you and your doctor to weigh the risks and benefits of keeping the implant in place or having it removed.
The appearance of a breast with implants is affected by factors such as age, thickness of breast tissue and type of implant used.
Implants tend to create “youthful” looking breasts that may be less natural in appearance with increasing age. In patients with very thin breast tissue, creasing and folds in the implant may be apparent. There can also be a rippling effect seen through the skin, which is more likely when saline implants are used than those with silicone gel. Implants are designed in a variety of different shapes e.g. “round” and “tear drop” to meet the needs of individual patients.
Breast cancer and Deaths
Breast implants do not increase or decrease the risk of developing a new breast cancer or a recurrence of a previous breast cancer. The presence of breast implants does affect mammography - screening for breast cancer with X rays - you must tell the radiographer if you have breast implants so that a special technique can be used.