Women’s breasts have always been a focus of fashion, sexual attraction and health. We dress them, change them, test them and talk about them more often than not. With all this attention, it is not surprising that breast augmentation has become one of the most common cosmetic procedures done for women.
1. Silicone vs Saline
Implants are silicone pouches filled with either silicone gel or saline. Most surgeons would recommend silicone implants as they feel more natural and has less problem of rippling. Saline implants are often thought to be too firm and less natural looking than silicone.
Also, there are cohesive gel silicone implants, aka the gummy bear implants, that do not leak like traditional liquid gel implants in the event of rupture, increasing their safety profile.
2. More than just silicone and saline
If having something foreign in your body is just not your cup of tea and at the same time you want to give up your spot in the A-cup revolution, you will rejoice upon hearing about natural breast augmentation using one’s own body fat.
Fat is removed from one area (commonly the hips, abdomen or buttocks) and then injected into other areas of the body such as the breasts. Unlike implants, it gives a soft filling effect with natural results. However, be warned that you might not be such a good candidate for this procedure if you are slim, as there might not be sufficient fat to transfer especially if you are looking to up your cup by a few sizes.
3. They eventually need to be replaced.. or Not!
You may have heard or read that breast implants only last 10 to 15 years and they should be replaced thereafter. That would have been true for the 3rd and 4th generation implants but for the latest 5th generation breast implants, in general, they do not have to be changed if no issues occur.
However, you should know that the life of these implants varies according to the individual and the longer a woman has them, the greater the chances complications will develop, some of which require surgery.
4. You can still breastfeed
Contrary to popular belief, you can still breastfeed after getting breast implants. The chances of successful breastfeeding are highest when the implants are inserted through an incision within the breast fold and placed under the chest muscle.
Women whose implants are inserted through the nipple incision may have a more difficult time breastfeeding as that type of incision is more likely to damage the milk ducts and glands. Therefore, if breastfeeding is important to you, make sure you inform your breast surgeon.
5. Monitoring is crucial
Research has shown that there is no association between breast implants and the subsequent risk of breast cancer. Women with breast implants should follow the guidelines for breast cancer screening by performing monthly breast self- examination and going for annual mammograms from age 40.
Apart from breast cancer screening, women with silicone implants should also get MRI screenings to detect silent ruptures 3 years after their surgery and every 2 years after that.