Breast Implants & Choices for Breast Implant Surgery
What Are Breast Implants?
Breast implants are an advanced technological medical device that can help you to achieve your desired breast appearance. Implant technologies, types, shapes and sizes have changed, keeping pace with trends in beauty and plastic surgery.
Throughout the history of implant development and aesthetic breast correction, there have been various types of implants used with the goal of increasing and augmenting the volume and shape of the breasts.
There are many decisions to be made before undergoing Breast Implant Surgery such as implant brand, size, type, texture, profile as well as implant placement and surgical incision position.
Thanks to the latest generation of silicone implants, the safety and aesthetic outcome of implant procedures now provide a better appearance, a more natural feel and more stable result.
Breast Prosthesis Types
There are two types of implants: Saline and Silicone implants. Saline and silicone implants have many similarities, but also several important differences that distinguish them.
Although saline implants were once more popular than silicone implants, mostly for safety reasons (in case of rupture, saline solution is mostly absorbed into the body), thanks to modern technology and progress, Motiva’s silicone implants are just as safe for patients as saline implants.
Saline Implants, on the other hand, which also have a silicone case, are filled with saline (salt and water) and provide a somewhat less natural look and a “water ripple” effect just like a filled water balloon.
An advantage of saline implants over silicone implants is the size of the incision required for placement. While silicone implants are already filled before the surgery, Saline ones are filled only after the implant is positioned in the breast. But, thanks to the Keller Funnel insertion sleeve technology, scars when inserting silicone implants are minimised.
A saline implant is often more visible under the skin, and if they are not sufficiently filled, a “rippling” effect is possible, which impairs the aesthetics of the breast.
Silicone implants provide a more natural result and feel more natural to the touch thanks to a special fill material whose characteristics mimic breast tissue. Dr Briggs mostly uses Silicone Implants.
Breast Implants and Sizes
One of the most frequently asked questions in breast augmentation is: How do I choose the right size implant? The right size for you really depends on your desired outcome in consultation with a specialist surgeon who will give an opinion.
The size of your implant can also be affected by various factors such as your existing chest anatomy, shape and position of your breasts, any breast asymmetry, tuberous breasts or irregularities in the breast tissue.
Breast implants come in a range of different sizes – they can be small, ranging from 100cc to large implants exceeding 800cc. Most plastic surgeons use 300cc to 600cc implants.
It is important to mention that one size can represent a large and a small implant at the same time, depending mostly on your physical predispositions, body type, the shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin, and age.
People with a thinner body type will achieve more significant results with smaller implants than those with a larger frame, who usually require larger breast implants.
For this reason, our Dr Briggs’s team uses volume sizers at the time of your appointment which you can try on to help you get an idea and a picture of which implant size is ideal for your body type.
Breast Implant Shape
Another very important factor when choosing breast implants is the implant shape.
Breast implant shapes include round implants and anatomical ones, which are also often called “teardrop” shaped implants. Most surgeons prefer to use round implants as they are less likely to ‘flip’ over time resulting in the need for surgical replacement.
The natural appearance of your breasts is a deciding factor in choosing the shape of the implant. Anatomical implants, or teardrop implants, have a shape that simulates the natural contours of the breast. They always retain the same shape, whether you are lying down standing, or in any other position.
The lack of mobility of these implants gives a less natural look to your breasts since your breasts are always in the same position.
Round silicone implants are a great choice for all those who aspire to a larger breast volume, which is the case in 80% of all breast augmentation cases.
Thanks to the special gel of Motiva’s Ergonomix implants, the shape of the implants, and therefore the breasts, is changeable and depends on the position of the body. Such implants will have a round shape in the lying position, while in the standing position they will change their appearance into a tear-drop shape, which is a characteristic of natural breasts as well.
Round Motiva implants are effectively now able to simulate the effect of having a teardrop shaped implant with all the benefits of a shaped implant without the risk of implant flipping.
Breast Implant Texture
Implants, in addition to differing in volume and shape, can also differ in the texture of their surface.
Micro-textured and Nano-textured breast implants are now the most commonly used in breast augmentation procedures. They adhere to the natural breast tissue in the breast pocket which they are inserted and have a thinner surface which makes them softer and are less prone to rippling giving them a more natural look.
The advantage of textured implants is preventing capsular contraction and potential complications associated with scar tissue that forms around the implant.
Recently, macro-textured implants like Allergan Natrelle have been associated with a very rare type of cancer – BIA-ALCL – and have become increasingly unpopular. At this point, NO cases of BIA-ALCL have been found with patients having the Motiva implants.
Breast Implant Placement
There are three options for positioning implants in the breast: In front of the pectoral muscle, behind the pectoral muscle, or partially behind the muscle (dual plane).
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the criteria that are taken to decide which method is right for you are the quality of your skin, the size of the gland, and the development, size, and strength of your pectoral muscle.
Dr Briggs can discuss the most suitable implant placement for you during a consultation.
Positioning the implant under the pectoral muscle (submuscular positioning) results in more natural results, as the implant is more difficult to notice and feel. The downside is that this type of procedure is somewhat more complex and can take a little longer to heal.
Positioning the implant in front of the muscle (sub-glandular positioning) is a much simpler procedure, it is quicker and less painful, and requires a slightly shorter and easier recovery. But implants that are placed in front of the muscles are more visible and easier to feel through the skin. The implants can also be more mobile under the skin leading implant malposition over time. A large implant inserted under the skin (sub-glandular) may also cause ptosis or sagging.
The Dual Plane technique is a somewhat newer method, in which the upper part of the implant is covered with muscles and cannot be felt under the skin. The lower part has a very nice, almost natural shape thanks to your natural soft breast tissue.
This technique has become very popular and may be the perfect choice for patients of smaller build with smaller breasts, who are thinking between traditional breast augmentation and breast lift.
Breast Implant Incision and Scars
All surgery causes scars, regardless of the type of breast augmentation, technique or type of implant, it is impossible to perform surgery without creating an incision.
But, thanks to the most modern methods, experience, and knowledge of Specialist Plastic Surgeons, it is possible to minimise the size and appearance of scars.
With the correct course of recovery and healing, it is possible to almost completely reduce the visibility of scars caused by the placement of implants in the breast.
Also, certain breast augmentation techniques place incisions in less visible places, such as the armpit area, under the breast or in the areola line.
The most commonly used methods of placing implants in the breast are:
- Periareolar Incision: This approach is performed through a semicircular incision around the lower half of the areola (the tissue that surrounds the nipple). Thanks to the areola, the incision line is hidden and less visible than in other approaches. However, the disadvantage of this procedure can be complications related to the loss of sensation in the nipples, and the inability to breastfeed, which makes this method unpopular among women who are planning to become mothers.
- Inframammary Incision (IMF): Inframammary Incision is the most popular and most commonly performed method of implant placement. The incision is made in a natural fold located at the transition of the breast to the chest. This approach enables the easiest insertion of the implant in the pocket, the best control of bleeding or hemostasis, and it is characterised by raising or elevation of the nipples by a few centimetres in relation to the preoperative position of the nipples. The size of the scar itself largely depends on the size of the implant used for this procedure.
- Transaxillary Incision (Armpit Implant Incision): The Transaxillary Incision method allows a specialist surgeon to insert an implant through the armpit, thus “hiding” the incision. However, this approach, although at first glance has an advantage over other methods, it is rarely performed for reasons that will be best explained to you by our Surgeon Specialist.
Dr Briggs is highly skilled in all of the above insertion methods but favours IMF as in gives great results for the patients
Breast Implant FAQs
What type of breast implant feel more natural?
Silicone implants have the most natural feeling to touch. Thanks to their silicone filling, they mimic natural breast tissue, and as such are the best choice for all those who value the feeling of touch as well as the look itself.
What are the alternatives to breast implants?
Fat transfer, also known as autologous fat grafting is a surgical procedure in which fat tissue is taken by liposuction and then used to restore the contour of the body by adding volume (enlargement) to soft tissue deficient areas. However, this method cannot yet be considered a suitable substitute for augmentation with implants, as the degree of augmentation is still quite limited and the results are unpredictable.
What is the most common breast implant type?
Across the world, the most common breast implant type used is silicone implants, with 88% of all plastic surgeries. Saline implants were used in only 12% of cases. There are very few surgeons in Australia primarily using Saline implants for Augmentation.
The TGA, the Australian government agency that also approves implants for use and sale on the market, recommends that as breast implants are not lifetime devices they need to be replaced after approximately 10 to 15 years, regardless of the type (silicone and saline). Some patients have had the same implants for 30 to 40 years without trouble.
Although modern Motiva implants have a lifetime warranty, many patients decide to change their implants to “refresh” the appearance of their breasts, which can change over time due to ageing, weight changes, pregnancy, and the like.
How safe are breast implants?
Thanks to the special nanotextured surface of Motiva’s implants, the chances of inflammation of the breast tissue surrounding the implant are reduced. The most common area prone to implant rupture is the seal, which is made of a different material. But with the Motiva implants, this seal is made of the same material as the rest and provides equal elasticity in all areas.
How hard can you squeeze and pull breast implants?
The ideal implant can be compressed and stretched without fracturing. Motiva implants are extremely elastic and can be compressed and stretched without negative consequences, up to 450% of its size, which is its breaking point.
How do I know if the Implant is ruptured?
Breast implants can rupture. Although this is a rare case (with Motiva implants less than 1% per 1,000,000 patients), it is still possible.
There are two types of implant rupture. The first type is very easy to notice, as there are visible signs on the chest in the form of a lump, this is known as an extracapsular rupture. Another way, the intracapsular rupture occurs when the shell of the implant ruptures but the fibrous capsule formed by the breast remains intact, this is commonly referred to as a silent rupture. Therefore, the manufacturers and our specialist surgeons suggest frequent check-ups and breast scans to detect a ruptured implant in time.
About Our Plastic Surgeon – Dr Patrick Briggs FRCS (Plast)
Dr Patrick Briggs offers high quality, natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results and is vastly experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice. With world-wide expertise Dr Patrick Briggs is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men and women.
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