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Breast Implants

Dr. Marlon O. Lajo, board certified cosmetic plastic surgeon, uses only U.S. FDA approved silicone gel breast implants for breast augmentation.

There are several things you have to consider before you decide to undergo breast implant surgery or breast augmentation. Here are some useful information and interesting facts about breast implants.

 SILICONE

Silicone is derived from silicon, a semi-metallic or metal-like element that t in nature combines with oxygen to form silicon dioxide, or silica. Beach sand, cystals, and quartz are silica. Silica is the most common substance on earth. Heating silica with carbon at a high temperature can produce silicon. Further processing can convert the silicon into a long chemical chain, or polymer, called silicone – which can be a liquid, a gel, or a rubbery substance. Various silicones are used in lubricants and oils, as well as in silicone rubber. Silicone can be found in many common household items, such as hand lotions, chewing gum, soaps, processed foods,chewing gum and antiperspirants. Slicone implants are safe. According to the Institute of Medicine there is no evidence that silicone implants are responsible for any major diseases of the whole body. Women are exposed to silicone constantly in their daily lives.

BREAST IMPLANTS AND BREAST CANCER

There is no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer.

AGE

Good health is important, not age.

CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE

The scar tissue or capsule that normally forms around the implant may tighten and squeeze the implant. Capsular contracture is more common following infection, hematoma, and seroma. It is also more common with subglandular placement. Symptoms range from firmness and mild discomfort, to pain, distortion, palpability of the implant, and/or displacement of the implant. Additional surgery is needed in cases where pain and/or firmness is severe. This surgery ranges from removal of the implant capsule tissue to removal and possibly replacement of the implant itself. Capsular contracture may happen again after these additional surgeries. You should be aware that closed capsulotomy, the practice of forcible squeezing or pressing on the fibrous capsule around the implant to break the scar capsule, is not recommended, as this may result in breakage of the implant.

ACTIVITIES AND RECOVERY

Movement will be painful at first, specifically any movement of your arms above your head, which you should avoid. Wear button-down shirts and blouses to avoid pulling clothes over your head.

 Recovery periods vary. The average time to return to full activities is four to six weeks. It is important not to sweat into the incision while it is still healing. If you normally exercise or workout, it’s best to consult your doctor first before going back to any physical activities. Walking is essential for better circulation.

DRIVING

You may drive once you are off prescription pain medications and are pain-free. You should be able to drive without fear of needing to stop suddenly. This is a precaution to keep you and others safe.

UNDERWIRE BRA

Your body will be forming scar tissue around the implant for 3 months. During this time the pressure of the wires could cause the scar tissue to form in such a way that an indentation from the wires could become permanent. After this initial healing time under wire bras should be worn occasionally to avoid permanent indentation.

It is not recommended to wear underwire bras or sport bras for the first several weeks because they tend to push your implants high, and prevent them form settling into place. “soft” bras or “sleep-in” bras can be used. Underwire bras can be worn 3 months after breast implant surgery.

MAMMOGRAPHY

Women with breast implants should continue to have mammograms. (A woman who had an implant following a mastectomy should ask her doctor whether a mammogram of the reconstructed breast is necessary.) It is important to let the mammography facility know about breast implants when scheduling a mammogram. The technician and radiologist must be experienced in performing mammography on women who have breast implants. Implants can hide some breast tissue, making it more difficult for the radiologist to detect an abnormality on the mammogram. If the technician performing the procedure is aware that a woman has breast implants, steps can be taken to make sure that as much breast tissue as possible can be seen on the mammogram. A special technique called implant displacement views may be used.

NIPPLE SENSATION

There may be changes in nipple sensation after implant surgery. It may be temporary or permanent.

PREGNANCY AND BREAST FEEDING

Women with breast implants can still breast feed successfully.

BREAST IMPLANT LIFE EXPECTANCY

The time period varies from to woman. Implants are not lifetime devices; therefore it is likely that they may need to be replaced sometime in your life. Some women need replacement surgery in only a few years while others may go 10-20 years. Change of implants is a matter of choice. Some women want a size change or an implant style change.

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