The last thing and the most important decision you will have to make is selecting the right plastic surgeon to perform your breast augmentation surgery. It is critical that you choose somebody who not only has the experience in these types of surgical procedures but maybe more importantly, the credentials. Here in the United States, the best thing you can do is look for a board-certified plastic surgeon who is not only experienced and credentialed but also has the qualities and qualifications that make you feel confident in their abilities.
Breast implants are not lifetime devices and breast implantation may not be a one-time surgery. The most common complications for breast augmentation and reconstruction with MemoryGel® Implants include any reoperation, capsular contracture, and implant removal with or without replacement. The most common complications with MemoryShape® Implants for breast augmentation include reoperation for any reason, implant removal with or without replacement, and ptosis. The most common complications with MemoryShape® Implants for breast reconstruction include reoperation for any reason, implant removal with or without replacement, and capsular contracture. A lower risk of complication is rupture. The health consequences of a ruptured silicone gel breast implant have not been fully established. MRI screenings are recommended three years after initial implant surgery and then every two years after to detect silent rupture. The most common complications with MENTOR® Saline-filled Implants include reoperation, implant removal, capsular contracture, breast pain, and implant deflation.
This type of decisions is not one that should be made in a rush or without the proper research. Typically, individuals considering having a breast augmentation have been considering this as an option and doing their research for at least a year to a year and a half. During this time, it is important to do as much research as possible in regards to what size implants they want/need, what positioning they are wanting, what type of implant that want to use, and the end result they are looking for. For some individuals they are only looking to accentuate what they already have, restore their breast after having children or losing weight, or they want a more enhanced look.
Mentor's Spectrum® post-operatively adjustable saline breast implants allow the physician to adjust the size of the breast implant for up to 6 months after breast augmentation surgery. One of the more difficult decisions you'll face in breast augmentation is deciding what size breast implant best fits your body. The Spectrum® implants give you and your surgeon more flexibility over the end result of your breast enlargement procedure.
In 1988, twenty-six years after the 1962 introduction of breast implants filled with silicone gel, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated breast implant failures and the subsequent complications, and re-classified breast implant devices as Class III medical devices, and required from manufacturers the documentary data substantiating the safety and efficacy of their breast implant devices. In 1992, the FDA placed silicone-gel breast implants in moratorium in the U.S., because there was “inadequate information to demonstrate that breast implants were safe and effective”. Nonetheless, medical access to silicone-gel breast implant devices continued for clinical studies of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, the correction of congenital deformities, and the replacement of ruptured silicone-gel implants. The FDA required from the manufacturers the clinical trial data, and permitted their providing breast implants to the breast augmentation patients for the statistical studies required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In mid–1992, the FDA approved an adjunct study protocol for silicone-gel filled implants for breast reconstruction patients, and for revision-surgery patients. Also in 1992, the Dow Corning Corporation, a silicone products and breast implant manufacturer, announced the discontinuation of five implant-grade silicones, but would continue producing 45 other, medical-grade, silicone materials—three years later, in 1995, the Dow Corning Corporation went bankrupt when it faced large class action lawsuits claiming a variety of illnesses.
Now, there is also the of a capsular contracture. A capsular contracture simply means that when you put an implant in a human body, your immune system or your body will recognize the implant as foreign. This is one of the main reasons the implant envelope is made from silicone and no other materials like rubber, plastic, etc. because silicone is the most medically inert substance known to man. Silicone is the least offensive material to your immune system, so your immune system is likely to detect it and say OK yes this is something foreign, but it’s not aggressive so it’s not any threat to us. Therefore, what your body will do is form a capsule around the implant, and that’s the end of the immune response.
The plastic surgical emplacement of breast implant devices, either for breast reconstruction or for aesthetic purpose, presents the same health risks common to surgery, such as adverse reaction to anesthesia, hematoma (post-operative bleeding), late hematoma (post-operative bleeding after 6 months or more), seroma (fluid accumulation), incision-site breakdown (wound infection). Complications specific to breast augmentation include breast pain, altered sensation, impeded breast-feeding function, visible wrinkling, asymmetry, thinning of the breast tissue, and symmastia, the “bread loafing” of the bust that interrupts the natural plane between the breasts. Specific treatments for the complications of indwelling breast implants—capsular contracture and capsular rupture—are periodic MRI monitoring and physical examinations. Furthermore, complications and re-operations related to the implantation surgery, and to tissue expanders (implant place-holders during surgery) can cause unfavorable scarring in approximately 6–7 per cent of the patients.  Statistically, 20 per cent of women who underwent cosmetic implantation, and 50 per cent of women who underwent breast reconstruction implantation, required their explantation at the 10-year mark.
Surgery effects each person’s emotions differently. During the first week you can expect your energy level to be noticeably reduced. This will begin to improve the second week but it will take a full six weeks for you to have the same energy level you had before surgery. Many people say they want to sleep longer or more often. Normal hormone changes after surgery will also affect your emotions. Between 5 to 10 days most patients experience a period of doubt regarding their decision. They may feel down and sometimes cry. Remember, this is normal and will pass with time. If this depression is severe, contact us immediately so we can see you in our office.
Breast reduction involves reducing the size of the breast. A breast lift involves lifting the nipple-areolar complex and reducing the excess skin of the breast. Breast reductions can involve just liposuction in patients who have more fatty tissue than glandular breast tissue. Liposuction alone indeed does reduce the volume of the breasts. However, sagging of the breast can result and liposuction alone is therefore performed usually in highly selected patients.
As with any sort of surgery there are always risks involved. The two most common risks for breast implant surgery are bleeding and infection. In general, the risk of bleeding is very low, and if it does happen, it will typically happen within the first 24 hours. Infection on the other hand, can take up to one to two weeks to before it will show itself. However, we take every possible precaution such as; using sterile equipment, sterile gowns, gloves, masks and many other safety precautions. The risk of infection is typically anywhere from two to three percent. So yes, there are risks and they can happen but they are very rare. One other risk that needs to be mentioned is the risk of using anesthesia. So yes, it can happen, but it’s exceedingly rare.
The presence of radiologically opaque breast implants (either saline or silicone) might interfere with the radiographic sensitivity of the mammograph, that is, the image might not show any tumor(s) present. In this case, an Eklund view mammogram is required to ascertain either the presence or the absence of a cancerous tumor, wherein the breast implant is manually displaced against the chest wall and the breast is pulled forward, so that the mammograph can visualize a greater volume of the internal tissues; nonetheless, approximately one-third of the breast tissue remains inadequately visualized, resulting in an increased incidence of mammograms with false-negative results.
In some very rare cases, usually about 2 to 3 percent your immune system is not satisfied with simply forming a capsule, and the inflammation continues to the point where the capsule thickens and sometimes squeezes the implant and distorts it. This can sometimes be painful, and in those cases, it usually requires surgical intervention to either release the capsule or to possibly remove the implant.
When talking about the price with your plastic surgeon, it’s important to know exactly what the cost covers. Is it just the surgeon’s fee? Or will it cover anesthesia, facility fees, implant cost, medical tests, pre- or post-op appointments, and medical supplies you’ll need during recovery? Do you need to purchase a specific bra for recovery or will they provide one?
Generally, you can go back to working out two to three weeks after breast lift or breast reduction surgery. This depends on how you feel. Do not lift anything that weighs more than five pounds for three weeks. Avoid contact sports for six weeks. If you had breast enlargement with a breast lift, hereafter avoid all exercises which isolate your pectoralis muscles as these can shift the implant toward you armpit. Workouts must stop if you experience discomfort in your breasts or chest. A balance of rest and reduced activity will speed up your recovery.
Saline-filled Breast Implants. Saline-filled breast implants are filled with sterile saline (salt water). They come in both smooth and textured shells and can be round or anatomically (tear-drop) shaped. Saline breast implants are also available in low and high profiles, and in many sizes. A saline-filled breast implant is usually empty before implantation. The doctor moves it into place during your surgery, and then fills it. The saline is administered via a process that ensures the implants remain sterile.
Healing from a breast implant surgery is not a set timeline. Each patient is different and their body heals at different rates. The actual incision made on the breast will typically heal in about 3-5 days. There will also be absorbable sutures that typically can be removed after 45 days. There will also be bruising present after the surgery, and it can take about one to two weeks to completely disappear. Most pain felt from this surgery is from the muscle being stretched. Generally the patient will be prescribed a pain medication, and depending on their situation their Doctor may also prescribe a muscle relaxant to help the muscle adapt to the new implant. Most patients have reported that after three to four days the pain has significantly subsided and they are able to resume normal activities, such as, driving. The Doctor will also be able to show you various exercises that will help the muscle stretch and assist the implants with settling not the new space more quickly.
Procedures that advertise using fat from liposuction and re-injecting it into the breast, also called fat grafts, are still considered surgical procedures, explains Dr. Doft. While it might be tempting to consider because it seems less invasive than a traditional boob job, the results are also harder to predict. Dr. Doft says: “Thirty to 50 percent of the fat will not survive. It is also not possible to know which fat will and will not survive, which may alter your results.”
When the patient is unsatisfied with the outcome of the augmentation mammoplasty; or when technical or medical complications occur; or because of the breast implants’ limited product life, it is likely she might require replacing the breast implants. Common revision surgery indications include major and minor medical complications, capsular contracture, shell rupture, and device deflation. Revision incidence rates were greater for breast reconstruction patients, because of the post-mastectomy changes to the soft-tissues and to the skin envelope of the breast, and to the anatomical borders of the breast, especially in women who received adjuvant external radiation therapy. Moreover, besides breast reconstruction, breast cancer patients usually undergo revision surgery of the nipple-areola complex (NAC), and symmetry procedures upon the opposite breast, to create a bust of natural appearance, size, form, and feel. Carefully matching the type and size of the breast implants to the patient's pectoral soft-tissue characteristics reduces the incidence of revision surgery. Appropriate tissue matching, implant selection, and proper implantation technique, the re-operation rate was 3 percent at the 7-year-mark, compared with the re-operation rate of 20 per cent at the 3-year-mark, as reported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For my patients, I also provide a post-operative packet. This includes arnica and other ointments, gauze and tape, an ice pack, and nasal decongestant spray. If your surgeon does not provide these items to you before or after your surgery, they are all helpful during the healing process. I encourage my patients to get anti-nausea medication for the first few days following surgery as well.
The correction of capsular contracture might require an open capsulotomy (surgical release) of the collagen-fiber capsule, or the removal, and possible replacement, of the breast implant. Furthermore, in treating capsular contracture, the closed capsulotomy (disruption via external manipulation) once was a common maneuver for treating hard capsules, but now is a discouraged technique, because it can rupture the breast implant. Non-surgical treatments for collagen-fiber capsules include massage, external ultrasonic therapy, leukotriene pathway inhibitors such as zafirlukast (Accolate) or montelukast (Singulair), and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMFT).
Contoured implants, also called anatomical or teardrop-shaped implants, are shaped like a natural breast and create a sloped shape when placed over the chest muscles. Round breast implants have that, well, "round" Victoria's Secret or Playboy model shape. Contoured implants may flip over if the surgeon does not create the pocket correctly, resulting in a misshapen breast. Not true with round implants. If a round breast implant flips, it still looks the same. Your decision on implant shape should be based on how you want your new breasts to look.
In 1998, the U.S. FDA approved adjunct study protocols for silicone-gel filled implants only for breast reconstruction patients and for revision-surgery patients; and also approved the Dow Corning Corporation's Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study for silicone-gel breast implants for a limited number of breast augmentation-, reconstruction-, and revision-surgery patients.
Textured implants were designed to lessen the risk of capsular contracture, which is an excessive contraction of the scar capsule that surrounds the implant, by preventing scar tissue from forming around the implant in a uniform manner. However, studies have proven inconclusive and no firm evidence exists to support the theory that textured implants reduce the risk of capsular contracture. If a patient requires implant removal due to capsular contracture or another complication, it may be more difficult for the surgeon to remove the implant because of the adherence of tissue to the textured surface.
The study Safety and Effectiveness of Mentor’s MemoryGel Implants at 6 Years (2009), which was a branch study of the U.S. FDA's core clinical trials for primary breast augmentation surgery patients, reported low device-rupture rates of 1.1 per cent at 6-years post-implantation. The first series of MRI evaluations of the silicone breast implants with thick filler-gel reported a device-rupture rate of 1 percent, or less, at the median 6-year device-age. Statistically, the manual examination (palpation) of the woman is inadequate for accurately evaluating if a breast implant has ruptured. The study, The Diagnosis of Silicone Breast implant Rupture: Clinical Findings Compared with Findings at Magnetic Resonance Imaging (2005), reported that, in asymptomatic patients, only 30 per cent of the ruptured breast implants are accurately palpated and detected by an experienced plastic surgeon, whereas MRI examinations accurately detected 86 per cent of breast implant ruptures. Therefore, the U.S. FDA recommended scheduled MRI examinations, as silent-rupture screenings, beginning at the 3-year-mark post-implantation, and then every two years, thereafter. Nonetheless, beyond the U.S., the medical establishments of other nations have not endorsed routine MRI screening, and, in its stead, proposed that such a radiologic examination be reserved for two purposes: (i) for the woman with a suspected breast implant rupture; and (ii) for the confirmation of mammographic and ultrasonic studies that indicate the presence of a ruptured breast implant.
Since experienced surgeons are aware of these issues with saline breast implants and their need for eventual replacement, they opt to place them under the chest muscle. The chest muscle works as an extra layer of tissue over the implant, which makes for a smoother transition from the chest wall to the implant. The finished product is a more seamless transition versus a more visible and abrupt change when the implant is not placed below the pectoral muscle. As for gel breast implants, they can also be safely placed below the pretorial muscle if that is a viable option for the patient since replacement and wrinkling is less common with this type of implant.