Five Things To Know Before Having Breast Implants

breast implant surface1.  Shapes Galore

Two basic implant shapes are round and tear-drop (anatomical). The choice between the two will depend on your current breast shape, your proportions and also the surgeons expertise. Tear-drop shape comes in a wide range of dimensions to fit different body habitus. For the same reason, it can satisfy preferences such as more side-boob or cleavage, and has the power to ‘lift’ a mildly sagging breast. They are generally more expensive than round implants. Do seek a plastic surgeon experienced in anatomical implants, the right technique is crucial to prevent implant shifting.

tear drop implants There are hundreds of tear-drop implants with different dimensions to fit every chest shape

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2.  Surface matters

The surface of implant shells may be smooth or textured (rough). Smooth surface means the shell is thinner and have a softer and more natural feel. That said, textured implants are more commonly used for a number of reasons. Textured surface lowers the risk of capsular contracture, which refers to hardening on the augmentation, a complication higher in smooth implants. Acting like a Velcro surface, an implant with  rough textured shell has less tendency to shift and malposition.

breast implant surface Breasts implants comes in different surfaces: Smooth (left) and Textured (right)

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3.  Gummy Bear

Form-stable implants, or more affectionately known as gummy bear implants, does exactly as its name suggest. Silicone within the implant is cohesive, and does not flow out like liquid silicone when the shell is breached. Instead it stays put just like when you bite into a gummy bear. Most modern implants are manufactured this way. Being form-stable means better ability to shape the breast and less gel migration (silicone going into your tissues) when there is a leak. With technological advances in gel development, the latest gels have a soft consistency despite being cohesive.

Cohesive implants
Form-stable ‘Gummy Bear’ Implant

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4.  Add-Ons

Depending on your existing breast condition, add-on procedures during breast augmentation, will deliver enhanced and more lasting results. Like in the case of sagging breasts, which inflicts all women at some point, but more so after lactation, weight loss and aging. Even though implant augmentation alone may give a mild lifting effect, more advanced sagginess calls for additional procedures, like a mastopexy, to correct the loss skin.

Tuberous breast Tuberous breast

Some women have a condition known as tuberous breast, where the base of the breast is small or constricted and the nipple is enlarged. For tuberous breast, mastopexy and releasing surgeries may be needed.

fat transfer and breast implants Hybrid breast augmentation combines implants with fat grafting for a more natural look and feel

Other procedures such as nipple reduction will downsize nipples enlarged by breastfeeding and hybrid breast augmentation with fat transfer gives more natural results in very thin ladies. 3D  simulation systems, like Vectra, will help both the plastic surgeon and client to select the procedure and implant that is ideal for their body shape.

Vectra 3D
Vectra 3D imaging simulation system helps women and surgeons decide on the ideal breast implant

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5.  Surveillance

Last, but by far not least, is surveillance. Complications of breast implants include capsular contracture, leakage and malposition. ALCL is a rare form of lymphoma associated with breast implant surgery. After surgery, your plastic surgeon should continue to monitor you closely and regularly.

breast cancer

However, the surveillance doesn’t stop there. Breast implants is NOT associated with breast cancer, but women around and after age of 40, who are looking at any breast enhancement surgeries like implants or mastopexy, should have breast cancer screening before the operation. Breast cancer is common and if detected early has a high rate of cure. October is breast cancer awareness month, when many educational activities and awareness activities are planned, so do look out for them this October.

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