Breast implants are designed and fitted to match the look and shape of your physique. The large variety of breast implants has been developed to meet the unique needs of each woman. If you’re new to the idea of getting breast implants, it’s important that you get an overview of all the factors involved. You’ll need to take cost and time off of work into consideration in addition to thinking about the aesthetic factors involved in breast implants. Recovery can take 4 to 10 days, and most doctors recommend taking at least that amount of time at home to recover and heal. The more you understand about the types of breast implants, breast implant sizes, surgical techniques, and cost considerations, the better equipped you’ll be to locate a qualified surgeon, schedule a consultation and get the results that you desire.
There are three breast implant manufacturers that are FDA approved in the United States: Mentor, Allergan and Sientra. In 1992, silicone breast implants were banned in the United States by the FDA after a lawsuit claimed that these implants could provoke autoimmune or connective tissue disease. Saline breast implants were the only type of implant available between 1992 and 2006. In 2006, silicone implants were reapproved by the FDA. Mentor began producing memory gel breast implants shortly thereafter. The gel implants received FDA approval in 2006.
Allergan, Natrelle® Silicone Gel and Saline Breast Implants
Allergan is a leader in the medical aesthetics industry, offering a wide array of devices, products and dermal fillers for cosmetic and plastic surgeons. Their Natrelle® Silicone Gel and Saline Breast Implants are a safe and popular choice for surgeons and patients seeking breast augmentation, revision or reconstruction. They have been available in more than 60 countries for more than 25 years. Natrelle implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and shell textures, and they are available in saline or silicone gel filled implants to meet the unique body type and aesthetic surgical goals of the patient.
Allergan has conducted comprehensive, in-depth study, spanning over ten years, examining the safety of their gel-filled silicone breast implants on more than 80,000 in the United States. Their silicone gel-filled implants are among the most researched, FDA approved medical devices in existence.
Sientra, Silimed® Breast Implant Products
Until recently, only two manufacturers of silicone, gel and saline breast implants were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. For years, Allergan and Mentor were the only two companies allowed to produce and distribute breast implant prosthetics to surgeons throughout America.
The Food and Drug Administration approved a third company, Santa Barbara, California-based implant device manufacturer, Sientra, for their new silicone-gel breast implants. The company won approval in March 2012 to market their implants for the purpose of breast augmentation, correction and reconstruction for women who are 22 years of age or older in the United States.
Sientra is a privately held company, which was founded in in 2007. They specialize in product development and sales of plastic surgery implants for the breasts, face, legs and buttocks. Sientra offers the Silimed® brand portfolio of products in various shapes, textures and sizes, including: smooth and textured, and also available in multiple heights and projections, comparable to the implant products of Allergan Inc. and Johnson & Johnson's Mentor unit. As a new cosmetic manufacturer, Sientra will be subjected to the same FDA-mandated regulations, requiring Sientra to report and track patient cases and outcomes to the governing agency.
Mentor Breast Implants
Mentor produces silicone breast implants and saline breast implants that are FDA approved for use in the United States. They are a trusted name in the breast augmentation industry and both saline and silicone are natural looking breast implants. Mentor breast implants offer women the security of knowing that the products that are being used to accomplish breast augmentation are approved for safe use in the United States.
Types of Breast Implants
The different types of breast implants are designed to meet each woman’s individual anatomy and aesthetic desires. All breast implants are made of synthetic materials. They vary in terms of their firmness, the material used to encapsulate the implant material, and the incisions required to place the implants. Safety considerations also factor into your decision about the type of breast implant that would be right for you.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone implants are filled with a proprietary gel while the saline implants are filled with a saltwater solution that mimics the fluids that are found throughout the human body. Some women prefer silicone breast implants because they are pre-filled and therefore offer predictable results. Because the implants are pre-sized and pre-filled women know just what they’re getting before surgery.
Women who opt for silicone breast implants can choose a shell surface that is smooth or textured. Some women prefer a textured shell surface because they feel that it has a more realistic feel to it.
Silicone breast implants are inserted through an incision that must be big enough to get them into place. Recovery time following surgery to insert silicone implants takes longer because the incisions are bigger than those required for saline implants.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants have a slightly firmer feel than silicone implants, which appeals to some women. The fill volume of the implants is flexible to allow for adjustments by the physician during surgery. The saline implants are a safer choice in the event of a rupture because the fill material is a natural solution that is similar to that already found in the body. Some women feel more comfortable choosing saline over silicone for this reason.
As with silicone implants, women can choose between two shell surface options: smooth or textured. Saline breast implants, in contrast to silicone, can be inserted using an incision that is much smaller than that required for silicone implants because they are filled after being placed inside the body. Saline implants require a shorter recovery time because of the smaller incisions, which is a major plus for some women.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants
Gummy bear breast implants or gel implants are a special type of prosthesis that combines the safety of saline with the consistency of silicone. The implants are tear drop shaped and have the firm, yet pliable feel of a gummy bear. This type of implant costs a bit more but the results are worth it. These implants really look and feel like actual breast tissue.
The risk of rupture is significantly diminished with gummy bear implants. The safety of using this type of implant factors in heavily for a lot of women. Unfortunately, gummy bear breast implants require a larger incision, which makes the surgery more painful and the recovery time longer. But women report desirable results with the latest version of silicone implants. Gummy bear implants can address breast tissue flaws that other types of implants just aren’t able to correct.
Propylene Breast Implants
Propylene implants have been banned in Europe and the United States. Propylene is inserted into implant pockets in the breast which causes irritation. The irritation results in the production of serum which fills the implant pocket continuously. The breast continuously gets larger following surgery and growth can only be alleviated by the removal of the serum by a syringe.
Breast Implant Sizes
Choosing the proper breast implant size for your body is important and should be discussed with your doctor. Small breast implants filled to 400cc might be appropriate for a more active woman who want only a gradual increase in cup size, but large breast implants (450cc breast implants or larger), may be necessary form women who desire a large cup size or to correct sagging breasts after years of breast feeding. Though the largest breast implants may be appropriate for you if you are having reconstructive surgery, your doctor will probably only recommend extreme breast augmentation in certain situations.
Are breast implants safe?
Different types of breast implants, like gel breast implants or implants filled with saline are quite safe. Silicone breast implants which were once banned in the United States are more widely used now that new advances have been made regarding their manufacturing and safety. . Ask your doctor to explain the risks involved with the different types of breast implants and breast implant surgery before scheduling the procedure.