Breast Implants

brestrogen-faq-lady-1.pngBreast implant is a prosthetic surgery to improve the size of the bust. This surgery entails the insertion of some foreign material, called implants into the region of the breasts.
These implants are generally used by women who wish to create a larger bust size. Breast implants can increase the cup size by one or two sizes. However, breast implants are also used by men who undergo gender reassignment surgeries to females. The kind of surgery that uses breast implants to increase the bust size is called as breast augmentation surgery.

There are several actresses in Hollywood who have undergone breast implants and are quite open about the fact. Breast implants are not looked upon today as something out of the ordinary; they are fast becoming a viable (and most effective) option for women who wish to increase the size of their bust.

Evolution of Breast Implants

There have been evidences of breast implants from as far back as 1895. Women around that time were implanted with adipose tissue (the tissue which makes the breasts) from the breasts of other women. Hence, strictly speaking, it was not a breast implant surgery.
The modern form of breast implants, which introduces foreign materials within the breasts, can be said to have evolved from the 1960s. The earliest implants were thick-shelled, not too flexible and most importantly, they were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
There have been many changes in the shapes and the materials of the breast implants. Current implants are quite flexible and contain harmless substances. These implants have good cohesion, i.e. they ‘stick’ well to the inner muscles and there is no problem of their shaking from their position.

Shapes of Breast Implants

The shape of the breast implants are very important when you consider how well they will fit within the breasts. Two shapes of breast implants have been used:-
(i) Round breast implants
Round shaped breast implants fit circularly into the breasts. They have been popularly used until much recently, but they have had their problems. Round shaped implants lend an artificial look to the breasts. Since they uplift the breasts from all sides, they look and feel artificial.
(ii) Teardrop shaped breast implants
Today, the teardrop shaped breast implants are gaining wide popularity and are slowly phasing out the round shaped ones. They are naturally somewhat teardrop shaped in profile, and hence, these implants complement the natural looks of the breasts. Teardrop shaped breast implants need to be implanted very carefully into the pocket created by the surgeon, and they must have a good cohesion to fit with the underlying muscles and tissues of the breasts. Teardrop shaped breast implants will look very unnatural if they move within the breasts, hence they need to be implanted by a highly qualified surgeon. Teardrop breast implants are also more expensive than round breast implants.

Types of Breast Implants

There have been several types of breast implanting materials used since the ages. The following is a chronological list of the materials in use throughout the decades.
(i) The earliest breast implants in the 1960s were round and not so flexible. They used a filling of a thick and viscous gel. Though they were teardrop in shape, it was difficult implanting them, since they contained a Dacron shell which is not a cohesive material. The implants could move within the breasts and cause asymmetry.
(ii) The 1970s saw the introduction of polyurethane as the shell material, which is more cohesive than Dacron. Also, the filling was done using a less viscous gel, which lent better flexibility to the implants.
(iii) The latest types of breast implants were introduced in the early 1990s. These were made to resemble the anatomic shape of the breasts as much as possible. The cohesive capacity of these implants was improved, to reduce problems such as abnormalities occurred due to the movement of the implants.

The present implants are of two chief types:-

Silicone gel implants – These implants contain silicone gel as the filling material within a silicone shell. Their use has been discontinued recently owing to studies which show that they may cause breast cancers.

Saline filled implants – These are the most modern implants. They contained a saline gel filled within a silicone shell. These implants are the safest yet. They also complement the natural breast shapes much better than any other implants.
How are Breast Implants Inserted

Inserting a breast implant accurately is a matter of surgical skill, and must be done only by a qualified surgeon. The implant is done by making an incision on the breast. The incision is ideally made just below the breast from where it will be barely visible later. The surgeon then makes space between the pectoral muscles and the overlying adipose tissue to form a pocket. It is within this pocket that the implant is inserted.
There were many complaints about breast implants earlier. The chief among them were:-

  • The implants would move after a while and cause irregularities in the shape of the breasts;
  • The implants would lose their content over time and cause the breasts to sag;
  • Some implants were also deemed to be carcinogenic.
However, modern surgical science has put these complaints to rest. Implants today are quite a normal surgery, which requires little aftercare. Many women all over the world are gladly shedding their inhibitions and opting for breast implants to give them a better figure.

What to Do Before the Breast Augmentation Surgery

brestrogen-faq-lady-2.png(i) The most important thing to do before a breast augmentation surgery is to seek complete information about the surgical procedure. Have sessions with your doctor and ask whatever questions you may have regarding the procedure as well as the aftercare.
Inform yourself about the different kinds of implants possible, learn their pros and cons and then take an informed decision on which implant you’d like to have done. Ask the doctor where the incision will be made.
(ii) If you have a family history of any illness, especially breast cancer, then you must talk about this with your doctor. It is not advisable for women with breast cancer histories to go in for breast augmentations. However, your own doctor will be your best guide on this.
(iii) Reduce fatty foods and high carbohydrate foods a few weeks before the surgery. This is because you would not want your body shape to change because of your diet. Use extra virgin olive oil or canola oil, and low carbohydrate foods. You can include fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, etc. in your daily diet. Consume a good amount of fruits that are rich in vitamin C.
(iv) Abstain completely from smoking and alcoholism a few weeks before the operation.
(v) Your doctor will also want you to refrain from using any other supplements. You will have to stop the use of antibiotics, even aspirin.
(vi) Begin chest improvement exercises a few months prior to your augmentation. The operation would be a better success if your chest muscles are well toned before the implant. That’s why you should never rush in with the decision of breast enhancement surgery. Make good advance planning and exercise.
(vii) Enlist the services of some friend of family member to do the household work (or employ a maid). This is more important if you have children at home.
(ix) Take a few pictures of your breasts before the operation. This will help you in comparing the breasts once the implant is done. You’ll need these before and after pictures later if any complications arise with the operation.
(x) Most important of all, keep a positive outlook. Be cheerful of the prospect of getting a better figure, and don’t be scared of how the surgery will be. The surgery is not at all painful, and there are not many complications if done in the hands of a qualified surgeon. Keeping a cheerful outlook will also boost the concentration of all the needed hormones in your body.

What to Do After the Breast Augmentation Surgery

(i) You’ll need to discuss with the doctor before checking out about the precautions you are supposed to take. Ask the doctor when you will be able to resume your work and other daily activities.
(ii) Heavy duty work that exerts the chest muscles are out for a few days. You should even not drive for the few days as these could harm the breast ligaments. But you must do some walking exercises to avoid putting on weight.
(iii) Abstain from sexual encounters for a few days (you will need to ask your doctor about the period). This is because there may be an over-secretion of hormones during sex, and also muscular exertion. You will need to talk with your partner about these issues.
(iv) Keep abstaining from smoking and alcoholism for a few weeks immediately after the augmentation.
(v) Stick to the diet which is mentioned above.
(vi) After the initial few weeks are passed, and your doctor says that you can resume your activities, you must start exercising your body.
Obesity is the biggest enemy of breast implant operations; it can horribly spoil the shape of your augmented breasts. You must not allow your body to gain weight under any circumstances. Hence you can lose some weight quickly with this 3 week diet plan.
(vii) You will also need to change your wardrobe, especially your bras. Buy bigger size bras that are comfortable over your enhanced bust.
(viii) On the advice of the doctor, stop taking any other breast enhancing supplements. These supplements contain plant estrogens and they can seriously interfere with the shapes of your new breasts.
(ix) Ask your doctor when you should expect a corrective augmentation surgery. Do not be misled here; every breast augmentation needs a corrective surgery after some years. It is better to be forewarned about when to expect the surgery.
(x) Finally, report any complication with the breasts to your doctor immediately. You may suffer from asymmetry of the breasts or changes in the nipples, areolas and the skin covering the breasts. These are very important issues that need medical supervision on an urgent basis.
Breast surgery has become today a very commonplace cosmetic surgery, which is done in the outpatient ward without any heavy equipment. The surgery does not even need any recuperation or stringent precautions to be taken. The woman on whom the surgery is done is able to resume her work within a few days. Bearing all this in mind, there is not much to be bothered of before and after a breast augmentation surgery.