There are a few alternatives to breast augmentation with implants. Fat grafting breast augmentation involves harvesting fat via liposuction from another area of your body and injecting it into your breasts. Fat grafting is typically used to improve the appearance of your breasts after surgery to treat breast cancer, to correct a congenital breast deformity or to even out any imperfections occurring after breast augmentation with implants, such as wrinkles or ripples. The long-term effects of fat grafting to a normal breast are not fully understood, and the degree of augmentation possible via grafting is only modest at best. For these reasons, fat grafting for cosmetic breast augmentation is still considered experimental by many plastic surgeons.
Silicone gel implants were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic breast augmentation in November 2006. The move ended a 14-year moratorium during which silicone gel implants were available in the U.S. only for breast reconstruction, for women who already had these implants and needed a replacement for medical reasons and for use in ongoing clinical trials.
The simple answer to the risk of losing sensation in the breast and nipple is that your chances of this are very low, somewhere between 1-2%. The incision is made in an area that doesn’t have any sensory nerves as a precautionary measure to minimize any potential risk to loss of sensation. Furthermore, the breast tissue itself is not cut. It is moved aside so that a space can be created for the implant, and then the implant is placed in the newly created opening. There have been some cases where sensation has been increased with the nipple and areola due to the implant pushing them forward.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration established the age ranges for women seeking breast implants; for breast reconstruction, silicone-gel filled implants and saline-filled implants were approved for women of all ages; for breast augmentation, saline implants were approved for women 18 years of age and older; silicone implants were approved for women 22 years of age and older. Because each breast implant device entails different medical risks, the minimum age of the patient for saline breast implants is different from the minimum age of the patient for silicone breast implants—because of the filler leakage and silent shell-rupture risks; thus, periodic MRI screening examinations are the recommended post-operative, follow-up therapy for the patient. In other countries, in Europe and Oceania, the national health ministries' breast implant policies do not endorse periodic MRI screening of asymptomatic patients, but suggest palpation proper—with or without an ultrasonic screening—to be sufficient post-operative therapy for most patients.
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