Important Facts About Silicone Breast Implants

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Silicone breast implants are one of the ways in which women can enhance their figures. We will look at what silicone implants are and how they are used to enhance a women's breasts in this article.

Reports of people undergoing surgery to enhance the size and shape of their breasts date back as far as the late 19th century. The reasons for this are many and varied, but having "perfect breasts" is often considered to be an expression of femininity and womanliness. Women with breasts that they consider too large, too small, too uneven or too droopy may wish to improve the look and feel of their breasts to improve their confidence, self-esteem and attractiveness to men.

In the earliest procedures, fat, creams, sponges, liquid silicone and a variety of gels were inserted or injected into the breast tissue, often with disastrous results. These days however, the surgical procedures and the implants themselves are much more technologically advanced and in the majority of cases are problem-free.

Whilst some injectable fillers (Macrolane) are now available for breast shaping, the majority of breast augmentation procedures, sometimes called boob jobs, in the UK are performed with Cohesive silicone implants. Saline (salt water) implants are rarely used for cosmetic augmentation as they are not long lasting and give rise to an excessive rippling in the breast. Fat transplantation from one area of the body to the breasts is currently under development, but there may be drawbacks, particularly when it comes to breast screening in middle age.

There have been many generations of silicone implants over the past 50 years, but since the mid 1990's, most manufacturers have made cohesive gel implants. These (known as Gummy Bear implants in the USA) are much like a soft wine gum, so if damaged or cut, there is minimal leakage of silicone. The majority of implants have a textured shell (as if covered in salt or sand) which increases the surface area of the implant and reduces capsule formation.

A woman considering breast augmentation has various choices to make:

Size of implant; Shape of implant (round - giving the 'augmented boob-job look' or anatomical - giving a more natural look) Position (under muscle or under breast gland), Site of incision: inframammary crease (under the breast), periareolar (around nipple) or axillary (in the armpit).

Such decisions should be made in close discussion with your surgeon, considering your own particular requirements. Information to help your discussion can be found elsewhere on this site.

Breast augmentation is usually done under general anaesthesia (asleep). The surgeon makes an incision in the skin, and a pocket deep to the breast in which to place the implant. The skin is closed, and a tiny plastic tube (drain) is sometimes placed to drain excess blood. Many women go home on the day of surgery, or on the following day. You can expect to be uncomfortable for a couple of weeks, much like premenstrual breast pain, but there should not be excess discomfort.


Chris Ray writes for various health websites. If you found this information about silicone implants interesting, you can learn more about cosmetic breast
surgery from a Consultant Breast Surgeon

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