Everything You Need to Know About Breast Implants
With swimsuit season almost here, all of us are ready to have a better body. And for many, that means bigger breasts. So, should you consider breast implants? Maybe. But do your research: All breast implants are not created equal, and there are a few directions to go in when choosing your own.
Basically, there are saline and silicone implants. “Saline are filled with salt water. They tend to be a bit firmer, tend to ripple a bit more, don't feel quite as realistic, but don’t require MRI studies in follow-up the way silicone implants do. The other category is silicone filled implants. There are different thickness of silicone implants- cohesive (gummy bear) and semi-cohesive,” says plastic surgeon Brent Moelleken, M.D. FACS, who is in private practice, Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Moelleken says cohesive may offer more shape to the breast but their positioning is trickier and they may have a higher complication rate overall.
Even once you choose the type of implant, there are still more decisions and options. There are a number of surfaces--- textured or smooth, and projections— wide, medium and narrow, depending on whether patients need more width or more projection. “Recently, there are implants that are filled with a slightly greater volume. This may lead to less rippling, especially in thin patients,” says Dr. Moelleken.
Obviously, implant size and shape and placement can vary and depend on the patient and their needs and desired outcome. “The only rules that seem to be gaining traction are that implants should be the size of the diameter of the breasts in order for them to be ‘hidden’ better by the existing breast tissue,” says Dr. Moelleken. The larger the implant, the greater the likelihood that patients will have complications and require revision surgery, especially for very large implants.
And, yes, like it or not, implants are not for everyone. Some patients would achieve too large of a size with implants. “Also implants performed at the same time as a breast lift increases the chance for revisions. Patients need to be ready at some point to exchange their implants if they fail or if they develop scar tissue around their implants,” says Dr. Moelleken.
Be prepared that you will have to do this again. Breast implants are not forever. “Lifespan is typically in the range of 10-15 years given all the causes that patients may have for changing them (failure of the implants, need for a different size, droopiness, infection etc.),” says Dr. Moelleken. So you may be going thru this again a half dozen times during the course of your life time. That’s a lot of commitment. And surgery.
And you may want to start saving now, because while cost varies, breast implants are not cheap – and if they are, make sure you know what you are getting. “Cost varies greatly depending on surgeon reputation and the complexity of the surgery. It’s a great idea to consult several ASAPS surgeons and see who offers the ‘best fit’ for the patient’s needs!” says Dr. Moelleken.