Breast Augmentation With Silicone Implants
Silicone breast implants were finally reapproved in November 2006 by the FDA after being banned for general use for 14 years. During this time, silicone implants were still being used in restricted situations. Studies during this time reviewed by the FDA, have shown that silicone breast implants may be used safely for breast augmentation. This is excellent news for women because it gives women more choices for breast augmentation depending on their goals and wishes.
Today's silicone implants are much improved than they were in the 1970s and 1980s. The silicone shell is better with less gel bleed and the silicone gel is more cohesive rather than being more liquid. Dr. Lo uses the best cohesive silicone gel implants available, often referred to as "gummy bear" implants. The main advantage of silicone implants is that they have a softer feel than saline implants.
Am I a candidate for Silicone Breast Implants?
Almost any woman may consider silicone breast implants as an option for breast augmentation. Depending on a woman's' situation, health history or anatomy, silicone implants may offer an excellent choice to achieve a soft, natural beautiful result. Silicone implants can be ideal for a woman who may not have much of her own breast tissue.
What are the advantages of Silicone Breast Implants?
Silicone breast implants feel softer and are often described as more natural looking, as they tend to have more of a slope from the nipple, upward. This is the main reason why women choose silicone implants. Although saline implants feel soft, silicone implants feel softer and more like natural breast tissue. Silicone implants tend to have less wrinkling and rippling around the edges, and this is an important consideration. After breast augmentation with saline implants, when you touch the breasts, you may occasionally feel the edge of the implant or crinkling, which is called wrinkling and rippling. In severe cases, you may sometimes see skin wrinkling and rippling on the side of the breasts, on top or in the cleavage area. Women who are very thin or have very little breast tissue to cover the breast implant are at higher risk for wrinkling and rippling. Women who are concerned about wrinkling or rippling or at higher risk for wrinkling and rippling should consider silicone breast implants as the better choice.
How are the Silicone Breast Implants placed?
Dr. Lo has developed a special technique to place silicone implants through a transaxillary or armpit incision. This is a safe technique that hides the scar in the armpit, so you do not have any scars on the breast.
The inframammary or crease incision may also be used to place your silicone implants. Usually, Dr. Lo places the incision, or cut, slightly above the crease to avoid your bra's underwire from rubbing on your scar. The scar is still hidden with the natural droop of your breasts. The incision, or scar, is kept as short as possible but usually is about 1½ long. The silicone implants come prefilled and if you request a larger size, then a larger incision or cut is necessary to place the implant. Saline implants come deflated and are filled with saline once inside the breasts, thus a smaller scar or cut is used.
In some patients, a periareolar or below the nipple scar may be used to place the silicone implants. In patients with a larger areolar, this may be a very good choice.
I recommend that the silicone breast implants be placed underneath the muscle, or submuscular, for better mammogram interpretation and to decrease the risk of capsular contracture or hardening of the breasts. Occasionally, the silicone breast implants may be placed subglandular, or above the muscle.
Which type of Silicone Breast Implant should I use?
There are many types of silicone breast implants including smooth or textured, round or anatomical(tear drop) shape. Silicone breast implants also come in different projections called low profile, moderate profile, moderate plus profile or high profile. Depending on your individual situation, breast and chest measurements, goals and wishes, Dr. Lo will recommend different choices that will be best for you and give you the natural beautiful result that you desire.
The silicone breast implants that are being used are the new 3rd generation silicone breast implants called cohesive gel sometimes called gummy bear implants. The advantage is that they are safer if there is leakage or rupture. If leakage happens, the gel stays in one spot and does not move around.
What breast size is best for me?
During your consultation, your goals and wishes will be discussed. Your particular situation and anatomy will be analyzed and measurements taken. Based on all this information, a range of possible breast sizes will be discussed whether it be B, C, D or DD or higher. You will have a chance to try silicone sizer's in your bra to see your new look. Dr. Lo also uses state of the art 3D imaging to see how different implant sizes would look on you and you can decide the best look for you.
Dr. Lo believes that a natural look is always better, whether you ultimately want to be a B cup, C cup, D cup, DD cup or higher. During the surgery, Dr. Lo performs intraoperative sizing with a saline sizer and actually tries out different volumes (cc's) to see what looks best for you. Once a good volume or cc's is decided, looks natural,and will meet your desires and goals, then the saline sizer is removed and the permanent silicone breast implant placed. This is all done during your surgery.
How long do Silicone Breast Implants last and what maintenance do I need?
Everyone knows that at some time, the silicone breast implants will need to be replaced but they can last 20+ years. Silicone implants last a little longer than saline implants, and also the leakage or rupture rate is slightly less.
As long as your breasts continue to look good and feel soft and natural, there is obviously no need to replace or change your silicone breast implants.
You may not notice if your silicone breast implants leak or rupture, as with the new cohesive gel implants, the gel leakage stays in the area and does not move around. Thus the size or volume of your breasts stays the same. You may not notice a change in the shape of your breasts. The new FDA recommendation is to have regular mammograms every 2-3 years. A MRI exam is no longer recommended (unless further examination is needed). With silicone breast implants, imaging exams are recommended on a regular basis and whenever an evaluation is desired.
Dr. Lo has extensive experience with breast augmentation with silicone implants and was an investigator with the clinical trials of silicone breast implants. If you considering breast augmentation with silicone or saline implants, call Dr. Lo at (215) 829-6900 for an immediate consultation to discuss your goals and determine what is best for you.
Go to Dr. Lo's Before & After Breast Augmentation Photos