Breast Augmentation Part 2: The ImplantDecember 15, 2009
There has been a great amount of study, speculation and debate about breast implants over the past decade. The most important questions: are they safe? What material is best? What size? What shape?
Safety: First and foremost, breast implants are safe. The FDA has approved both saline-filled implants and silicone implants for breast augmentation after considering a vast amount of scientific data, patient experiences and doctors’ statements. There is no increased risk for certain illnesses or cancer, although the surgery itself carries some risk of bleeding, infection and other complications.
Materials: Most breast implants in the United States have a very thin silicone shell — the difference is what’s inside. Some are filled with saline (salt water), and others are filled with silicone gel. Some surgeons feel strongly about using one style of implant every time; Dr. Donaldson offers both types of implants, as he believes there are specific reasons to choose one or the other to match each patient’s body type and goals during breast augmentation.
Columbus, Ohio patients recognize in a side-by-side comparison that silicone feels more natural than saline — one is like a water balloon, and the other is like a breast. But in certain circumstances — such as when the implant is placed behind the chest muscle or beneath a large amount of natural breast tissue — it is often quite difficult to tell the difference.
Size: The most frequent reason for re-operation after breast augmentation is to change the size. To avoid this dilemma, Dr. Donaldson works hard with his patients to determine their goals and expectations in advance. Each person is different: some want a discreet enhancement that is only obvious when naked or in a bathing suit, others want a maximum impact that is obvious even in winter clothes!
Implants are sized according to their volume, which is usually measured in cubic centimeters, or cc’s. The typical range from small to large is 150 to 500cc’s, although they are made even smaller and bigger when necessary for women in Columbus, Ohio. Breast augmentation measurements to consider also include projection (distance projecting outward from chest) and width (distance from side of chest to middle of chest). The shape and size of a person’s chest and torso help determine which implant measurements will ultimately provide the best fit.
Shape: “Teardrop” or “anatomical” shapes are available, but Dr. Donaldson generally prefers smooth, round implants because they have a pleasant appearance from every angle. Also, if they turn in place, they will still look the same!