Silicone Breast Implants

Facts About Breast Implant Surgery

  • Breast implants are used for cosmetic enhancement of breast size. In South Africa, the operation is performed by plastic surgeons
  • It is believed that more than 50,000 South African women have silicone breast implants for breast augmentation or breast reconstruction
  • In 2010, approximately 2,000 women performed cosmetic breast surgery
  • Silicone implants can be placed either below or above the great pectoral muscle
  • Despite intensive research have failed to show significant adverse health effects of breast implants

When you use the breast implants?

Breast implants are used for cosmetic enhancement of breast size. In South Africa, the operation is performed only by plastic surgeons with special permission to perform cosmetic surgery.

Breast implants are also used in breast reconstruction after mastectomy due to breast cancer development and by congenital defects in the breasts. Breast reconstructive surgeries performed mainly on plastic surgery wards at public hospitals.

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries. In 2014 in the United States got nearly 300,000 women performed the operation. It is believed that more than 50,000 South African women have silicone breast implants for breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. The number of breast enlargement operations are growing and the number of women with silicone breast implants are becoming higher.

What silicone implants?

Silicon may be present as liquid, gel, foam or a rubber-like material. Silicone is well suited as an implant, since the slightly reacts with the body’s tissues. Meanwhile, silicone jelly form a consistency similar to breast tissue. The newer types of silicone implants is more solid, and even in cracks in the implant, the silicone does not flow out.

The first silicone breast implant was introduced in 1963. Since then there has been a steady improvement of silicone implants, so the new implants in very little damage or change the breasts. Silicone breast implants are now produced in many shapes and sizes, much more has made it possible to adapt the treatment to the individual woman’s needs. In the 1990s, the so-called anatomical implants introduced. They are drop-shaped and manufactured in different heights and widths to mimic the breast’s natural shape.

There is also an implant form, which can be expanded by repeated injections of saline through a valve. This implant is mainly used in women following surgery for breast cancer. Is obtained as the gradual expansion of the skin of the chest wall, until the desired breast volume is achieved.

How is the operation?

Silikoneimplantatet can either be placed under the great pectoral muscle, or on the outside of the muscle, but in the mammary gland. Local anatomy of great importance to which method you choose. How chest or partial omission put the implant under the muscle to obtain sufficient coverage with soft tissue over the implant. Accordingly, it is enough to place the implant in a “pocket” of the muscle in the case where the mammary gland is preserved. The location usually depends on the surgeon’s experience and attitude (Read about: Breast).

If you are over 35 to 40 years and must have cosmetic breast surgery, it is generally recommended that you have made a mammogram before surgery.

Complications of breast implants

Contractions around the implant (capsular) is the most common term complication to silicone breast implant surgery. The body will, as a normal response to a foreign body form a capsule around the implant. Over time capsule shrinks / contract. Eventually the chest so fierce, and the implant is visible under the skin. Ultimately becoming the chest painful, and the implant can move from its original position. So it should be removed. There is uncertainty about how frequent this complication is, but in most cases where this complication developed, it happens within two years after surgery.

Silicone breast implants have a limited lifetime and the implant could crack. Studies have shown that ca. 5% of the implants cracks per year. Minimum of 15% of all silicone implants can be expected to crack 310 years after implantation. Cracks an implant, there may be a leakage of silicone gel into the surrounding tissue, if the older type. The implant should then be removed. Apart from chest discomfort, there is no evidence that such cracking has health implications for women with silicone implants.

Are silicone breast implants dangerous to health?

Over the years there has been much attention paid to the health aspects of brystimplantationskirurgien (Health Authority information about the risks of implants). Despite extensive research has not been able to show that silicone implants increase the risk of disease, however, there is described a rare form of lymphoma that may be related to the implants.

In the debate on the health risks of silicone breast implants, there has been much attention to a possible link with the development of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Research in this area is extensive and far it has been concluded that the implants are not carcinogenic and does not lead to autoimmune diseases. It has been suggested that implants can cause problems with mammaografi and delay diagnosis of breast cancer. There must often take multiple images to achieve a satisfactory production of breast tissue. At the same time it should be experienced radiologists with access to additional studies as ultrasound and MRI, which carries the mammographic assessment.

Although research exonerate silicone implants cause disease, there is still reason to be reluctant. We need long-term studies with the new silicone implants. Experts in the field also question whether it is right to perform breast augmentation procedures in young women with normal breasts.

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