Each year, hundreds of thousands of women undergo breast implant surgery, a plastic surgery procedure designed to improve the appearance of the breasts. Also called breast augmentation surgery, most women undergo the procedure to enlarge breasts that are naturally small, though some have it to correct disproportionate breasts or repair breast deformities.
Silicone-filled Breast Implants. Silicone-filled breast implants are filled with a silicone gel. Over the years, the consistency of this silicone filling has changed. The first silicone breast implants were filled with a very thin, oily silicone. Currently, the silicone used in implants is a gel that is less likely to leak out of the shell if it ruptures. This gel is referred to as "cohesive." Some breast implants — called gummy bear breast implants — are even more cohesive, or "form-stable," and have the consistency of a gummy bear, thus the nickname.
Breast reduction surgery will take about two to five hours, sometimes longer. Your surgeon will make a cut around your nipple then downward on the breast in the form of a keyhole. The operating team will remove extra skin, tissue, and fat from your breasts and reposition your nipple. Your surgeon may use drainage tubes and then stitch up your breasts and wrap them in a special gauze. You may also need to wear a surgical bra.
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.