Breast Implant : Is It Different From Breast Augmentation ?
One of the commonly asked questions is “what is breast implant and what is the difference between breast implant vs breast augmentation?”
Breast augmentation is the name of the cosmetic surgical procedure in which breast implant is being placed inside the breast to enlarge or reconstruct the breast. In Singapore, the number of breast implants or augmentation procedures performed are rising, making breast augmentation the second-most popular plastic surgery procedure, behind only liposuction.
Types of Breast Implants:
There are two types of breast implants available in Singapore to be used for enlarging and increasing the size of your breasts. There are silicone implants and saline implants.
- Silicone breast implants are filled with silicone gel. Gel implants are silicone implants. The gel feels a bit more like natural breast tissue.
- Saline breast implants do not contain silicone gel but are silicone shells filled with sterile saline solution. These implants can be filled with different amounts of saline solution, which may affect the feel, firmness and shape of the breast. Saline breast implants provide a uniform shape, firmness and feel.
Both silicone and saline breast implants are safe and effective for enlarging the breasts. Both types of implants have a solid silicone envelope (outer shell) rather like the rubber of a toy balloon.
Current silicone gel breast implants contain cohesive gel with non-runny consistency which hold its shape. Sometimes they may also be called cohesive gel or “gummy bear” implants – they refer to the same thing. They are far more durable then before and feel more natural than saline implants. Silicone implants tend to look and feel more natural than saline. Silicone gel textured implants are available in many different sizes and shapes, including the ‘tear drop’ shape. The textured surface offers a very good safety profile.
Polysurethane foam silicon gel implant is a cohesive silicone gel implant covered with a 1mm layer of Polyurethane foam. Polysurethane foam silicon gel implant has fewer complications and it provide the lowest rate of capsular contracture and the need for a re-operation of any implant surface.
Leakage is not too common with the silicone implants, unlike saline implants. Saline implants leakage rate in Singapore is less than 3% per implant per year. However, should the implant shell leak, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and expelled by the body naturally.
If you choose silicone implants, it is recommended that you carry out more regular checks with your Singapore plastic surgeon to make sure the implants are functioning properly. An ultrasound scan or MRI screening can determine the condition of breast implants. If a silicone-filled implant leaks, the gel will either stay in the shell or escape into the breast implant pocket.
Neither is ‘best.’ Each has advantages and disadvantages. The patient must participate in her own care and choose which type of implant is most appropriate for her, after a consultation her plastic surgeon. And whether you choose saline or silicone implants, it is crucial that you monitor your breast implants and do visit your Singapore breast doctor for appropriate follow-up checkups.
There are a few things to consider before having your breast implant augmentation. Among the most important consideration will be :
- Choosing the right plastic surgeon and aesthetic clinic
- Type of breast implants to use
- The incision location
- The implant size and shape
Breast augmentation surgery is a safe procedure but it is not without any side effects or risk that could affect some patients. The most common complication is capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is the hardening or tightening of the scar tissue around the breast implant. It affects up to around 15% of breast implant patients.
There are four grades of breast capsular contracture:
- Grade I the breast is normally soft and looks natural
- Grade II the breast is a little firm but looks normal
- Grade III the breast is firm and looks abnormal
- Grade IV the breast is hard, painful, and looks abnormal.
But there are ways to reduce and treat capsular contracture. The most reliable and common way will be to remove the capsule and replace the implant. This is a relatively short outpatient procedure that patients tolerate well.
Questions To Ask Your Breast Implants Plastic Surgeon:
- What are all my options for breast augmentation?
- What are the possible risks and complications for each type of breast implants, and how common are they?
- How much experience do you have with each breast enhancement procedure?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for each type of procedure?
- What will my scars look like?
- What type of changes can I expect over time in my implanted breasts?
- What are the options available if I am not satisfied with the outcome of my implanted breasts?
- What type of discomfort and how much pain will I feel after the surgery and for how long?
- Will I need to replace the implants at some point in the future?
- When will I be able to resume my exercise and other normal activities?
- Does the manufacturer of the breast implants offer any product warranty?
What To Expect During The Recovery & How To Care For Your Breast After The Breast Implants Surgery
Every one’s recovery is different. In general, the first 24 to 72 hours following the breast implants procedure, you will likely experience soreness and swelling up to a few weeks. You’ll need to take it easy for the first few days after your breast augmentation surgery. For instance, you shouldn’t do any heavy lifting for up to six weeks after getting your implants. Most patients should be able to resume light activities in about a week following the surgery. Bear in mind that all exercises and athletic activities can resume only at the direction of your plastic surgeon.
After the procedure, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings and an elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. It is important to follow the surgeon’s advice regarding what type of bra to wear. We recommend putting on a postoperative bra as these are designed to provide you with extra support while you heal.
You will be given clear instructions on how to care for your breasts, medications to apply or take orally to help the healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon. It will be important to clean the incision sites and apply ointment as instructed.
During the recovery period, if there is any sign of infection, such as fever, or warmth and redness in the breast area, you should contact your surgeon or his/her nurse immediately. If you experience chest pains, or unusual heart beats, or shortness of breath, your surgeon need to notified immediately.