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THE ASIAN TROPICS
Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery
Facts about Breast Enlargement and Implants
by Dr. Al Farabi L. Jaafar, FPCS FPSCS
Breast implants are artificial prosthesis manufactured to add volume/form to increase the size of existing breast/s (augmentation) or replace lost breast tissue from previous surgery like mastectomies (reconstruction surgery).
Other terms for breast enlargement: breast augmentation, breast implant augmentation, breast implant enlargement, augmentation mammoplasty
TYPES OF BREAST IMPLANTS
A. Saline-filled implants
B. Silicone gel-filled smooth implants or Silicone gel-filled textured implants
C. Polyurethane (PU) coated implants
Smooth and Textured implants have elastomeric silicone shell (envelope). Studies have shown non-smooth shell (textured) implants decreases the chance of development of capsular contracture (a common long-term complication of breast implants). PU coated implants are also silicone filled and claims an even lower rate of contracture. Only A and B are approved for use by the US FDA.
Based on shapes, the common ones are rounded. The newer versions are anatomic (tear-shaped) and carry a higher price.
Saline filled implants have more tendencies to cause cosmetic problems like rippling and wrinkling compared to silicone-filled implants (filled with viscous materials).
Implant placement varies with the volume of existing breast tissue and skin/fat layer thickness. Behind the breast (sub-glandular) for those with adequate breast tissue. Deeper under the muscle placement is recommended for very thin subjects.
Sub-glandular placement is the most preferred (if possible) as it places the implants in the most anatomical location resulting to better and natural look.
There are three (3) types of incisions for breast enlargement using implants. (see illustration)
1. Axillary (trans-axillary)
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