When it first appeared in the newspapers and other media, a public view on the breast augmentation wasn’t the same it is today. As every other novelty, especially techniques that are performed on the human body, people took it with skepticism and fear. It was considered an immoral act and a life-threatening procedure. Today, however, the society has changed.
A lot of new and much more serious techniques have developed and breast augmentation is no longer a taboo. It is one of the easiest and most frequently performed plastic surgeries and it is highly accepted by the society of today’s world. Here we will provide you with some interesting facts on this topic, as well as some of the best known techniques and methods that are used to perform this procedure, their advantages and disadvantages and other useful information regarding the mentioned topic.
What are, in fact, breast implants?
A medical prosthesis that is used to augment breasts is called breast implant. No matter if you need to reconstruct, augment or make a physical form of a breast, this prosthesis will be used in order to provide you what you need. Regarding the augmentation, it is not always used just to resize the breast. You may actually be satisfied with the size of your breasts. However, if the shape, feel of some other aspect doesn’t make you comfortable, you can still undergo this procedure in order to correct these flaws.
How it all developed?
Breast implant devices that are used to enhance the feel, modify the shape and augment the size of your breast have been known since the late nineteenth century. Among the first ones to do something similar to a breast augmentation surgery was Vincenz Czerny, who tried to repair the asymmetry of the breast from which he had previously removed a tumor.
For this procedure he used the patient’s adipose tissue, which he harvested from a lumbar lipoma. In the mid-twentieth century, further developments were made by Morton I. Berson and Jacques Maliniac. American plastic surgeons, Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin developed the first silicone breast prosthesis in 1961.
It was filled with silicone gel and the first augmentation mammoplasty using their prosthesis model was performed a year later. Laboratories Arion, a French company, developed the saline breast implant in 1964. This implant was filled with saline solution and later that year introduced as one of the medical devices.
The patient who decides to undergo this procedure is usually a young woman. This young woman, however, often has a history of psychological distress about her appearance and body. She usually also has a huge history of criticism and teasing about her appearance and look. According to the studies Body Image Concerns of Breast Augmentation Patients, performed in 2003 and Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Cosmetic Surgery, performed in 2006, a huge number of women that came to a plastic surgeon’s office, had previously undergone psychotherapy, presented symptoms of psychological depression, or even suffered some mental illnesses or attempted suicide.
If you recognize yourself among this information, you don’t have to feel hopeless, because many post-operative surveys that investigated their quality of life and mental states, showed that there had been a big improvement in their physical health, appearance, social life, self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual functioning. Furthermore, even though might suffer complications that needed medical revision and help, according to these surveys, you will also experience long-term satisfaction with the surgery and an improvement in your everyday life.
Some of the women also showed a considerably better mental health, especially because of the higher self-esteem and self-confidence. The patients are generally very pleased with the results and satisfied with the decision they had made, so you can really have high expectations and if you still have doubts about it, this can be very encouraging.
Saline or silicone implants?
There are three sorts of breast implants that you can use for different surgical procedures, among others, for the breast augmentation – saline implant, silicone implant and alternative-composition implant. In the following part, you will find out more about each technique, why they are popular, what are their advantages and disadvantages and what the side effects and risks are.
The saline breast implants are made from biological-concentration salt water, called saline solution. The first implants of this type weren’t very successful, since shell breakage, leakage of saline filter and deflations were some of the common problems of these early implants. Today they have improved considerably and they are made of much higher quality materials.
This method represents the second most common choice for breast correction surgery today, thanks to the improved quality of the implants. The procedure itself is pretty easy and you won’t have to spend days in a hospital in order for the procedure to be finished. An empty breast implant will be put into the implant pocket in your breast and then filled with saline solution. One of the biggest advantages of this technique is that incision-scars that that you will experience are smaller, so they disappear faster after the surgery.
Furthermore, the saline implants offer a considerably big improvement in your breasts’ size. There are, however, some disadvantages as well. Some cosmetic issues, like wrinkling, ripping can appear and these implants are much more noticeable than silicone-gel implants for example.
The second type is the silicone gel implant. There are five generations of these implants that developed through the last century. The first one is the earlier mentioned Cronin-Gerow implant, developed in 1963. The second generation developed in the 1970s, when a thinner device-shell and a lower-cohesion silicone-gel were introduced. That later led to an improvement in look, size and feel of breasts, treated by this method.
The introduction of elastomer-coated shells that allowed lower gel-bleeding and thicker filler gel marked the third and the fourth generation. In this time, the manufacturers started to produce anatomic models that actually corresponded with the actual breasts and body of the patient. The silicone implants are probably the most common and the most famous sort of breast augmentation and also the most referred technique when it comes to breast surgery. Their introduction welcomed the fifth generation era and started the revolution in breast augmentation procedures.
The time that you’ll require for recovery depends on the type of the surgery you decide to undergo. Scars usually develop around 6-weeks post-operative. It will take a few months for them to fade away from your body completely. You will, however, be able to resume your everyday activities one week after the surgery. Nevertheless, more strenuous physical activities and exercise are forbidden for around 6 week after the procedure.
If the implant was placed beneath your chest muscles, the recovery will take a little bit longer, because of the muscles’ incisions. Meanwhile, milder arm exercises are recommended, especially if you experience serious pain. If the pain is too strong, you will be given analgesic medications that can be used to alleviate the pain.
Risks and side effects
Like any other surgical procedure, breast augmentation has its risks. The common surgery risks, like hematoma (post-operative bleeding), wound infection, seroma (fluid accumulation) or just adverse reaction to anesthesia, can occur at any time, like they would after any other type of surgery. You really shouldn’t focus on these problems, because they are typical for all surgeries and they can’t lead to very serious complications.
Some of the consequences specific for breast augmentation are wrinkling, altered sensation, breast pain, impended breast-feeding function, thinning of the breast tissue, asymmetry and symmastia (a confluence of the patient’s breast tissue of both breasts). Capsular contracture and rupture can also occur and the best treatment for them is periodic MRI monitoring. Although the implants can maintain their mechanical integrity within a your body for decades, they are of limited product-life. Age and design are the principal rupture-rate factor for them.
Some of the mechanisms for breast-implant rupture are chemical degradation, trauma, mechanic pressure that is made by traditional mammographic examinations, damage caused during implantation and damage caused during some other surgical procedures. Capsular contracture represents the immune system’s abnormal response to foreign materials, in this case, breast implants that will be put inside your breasts. There are four grades of capsular contracture.
At the first grade, the condition can hardly be notices, because the breasts are soft and they maintain their natural shape and size. At fourth grade, the breasts are hard, pain is felt at touch and they appear abnormal. Furthermore, 6-7 % of the patients experience unfavorable scarring.
These conditions, or your dissatisfaction with the outcome of the surgery, or because of the implant’s limited duration, you will probably require implant replacement after a certain period of time.
Alternative ways for breast enlargement
On the other hand, surgery isn’t the only way you can augment your breasts. There are some traditional methods, that, of course, have a medical background and, although not as much as surgeries, they can help you with this issue. The first and most natural method is healthy eating, drinking and living. Since breasts are mainly fatty tissue covered with skin, a healthy diet can surely improve their quality.
So, make sure to lead a healthy life if you want to see some improvement. Another way is breast enlargement pills and creams. These products can sometimes even be used combined to improve the firmness and boost the size of your breasts. Many women claim that the usage of these pills led to the enlargement of their breasts. It is, however, arguable whether they have a permanent effect, since some claim that breasts return to their previous shape and size after the consumer stops using them. Makers, on the other side, claim that the usage of these pills leads to an increase of one or two inches in the size within just three months of usage.
Furthermore, there are a lot of herbal creams that can enlarge the size of the breasts. Lastly, breast massages can also help women with this problem. Frequently performed breast massages lead to the improvement of the size, shape and firmness.
There are different methods that you can undergo in order to achieve breast augmentation. Natural methods, although helpful, are not popular anymore, because they require a lot of time and their effects are questionable. You will probably be choosing among the huge variety of surgeries that are offered today. Each of them has their advantages and disadvantages and each one of them can lead to more or less serious complications.
All in all, breast augmentation surgery is a very popular way of treating small-sized breasts and a very large percentage of the patients report satisfaction and improvement on all the areas of life after the procedure.