FAQ Breast implants
1- A mammary implant for me?
Mammary implants have been used since the early 60'. Since that time, over 2 million women decided to have silicone implants.
The implants are constantly being improved upon. Cooperation between patients, doctors and manufacturers has allowed us to make constant adaptations until we reached the current scientific and technological knowledge.
Breast augmentation is among the most common plastic-surgery operations performed.
2- What is silicone?
In the field of medicine, silicone is used in a variety of products: probes, catheters, tips for perforating needles and pace-makers. In the thi-tissue surgery field, implants are used to correct the body contour.
The first productive process of silicone polymers was patented in 1958.
Silicone, or dimethylpolysolixane in the language of chemists, is produced as silicone elastomer, silicone gel or silicone oil. In silicones, oxygen and ailicon are linked in the same way as stones and glass. In addition, the methylic groups are linked to the silicon atoms. Except for amorphous silica as a stabilizing and filling material, silicone contains no other additive and especially no softening agent.
3- Is there more then one type of mammary implant?
Yes, Implants vary in surface, profile and shape, and all are filled with high cohesivity gel.
As for the surface, they are provided with smooth envelope, textured envelope or polyurethane foam coated.
The profile may be high, moderate, natural low or extra-projection natural; the shape may be round or anatomic.
The wide range of options aims to meet the needs and desires of each patient.
4- Why the different surfaces?
Due to a natural reaction of the human body, a capsule is formed around foreign bodies, including implants.
This capsule may become hard and contract the implant. The contracture may deform the implant and alter the shape of the breast. We call this complication capsular contracture.
The incidence of capsular contracture is related, among other reasons, to the implant surface.
The first implants to be produced were smooth-surfaced. Polyurethane-foam-coated implants appeared in the middle of the seventies.
And finally in the 80's, textured implants appeared in an attempt to imitate the rugous affect of polyurethane foam.
Regardless of the modern techniques used, polyurethane implants resulted in remarkably low rates of capsular contracture, varying from 0 to 4%. Textured implants present a lower incidence of contracture than smooth implants.
5- Are implants assured to be safe?
Yes. For more than 30 years, the safety of and confidence in silicone implants have been continually assured in studies and experiments. National and international inspection organizations stipulate clear requirements for the, manufacturing process, sterilization and packaging are all subjected to strict rules.
6- Can a mammary implant change my appearance?
Yes. Mammary implants can give a feeling and quite natural appearance to the reconstructed breast. Some studies even show longer survival in patients who have their breast reconstructed.
As far as aesthetic surgery is concerned, breast augmentation improves the appearance according to each patient's desires.
7-Is the plastic-surgery procedure of augmentation mastoplasty performed only for cosmetic reasons?
No. Breast augmentation surgery can be performed for aesthetic, reparatory or reconstructive reasons.
In reparatory surgery, women with small mammary volume, a genetic condition known as hypomastia, or total absence of the breasts,a genetic condition known as amastia, can resort to augmentation mastoplasty due to their discontent in respect to their breast and the desire to feel more feminine.
Surgery for mammary augmentation may also be performed for reconstructive reasons, when women with sequelae of breast cancer have part or all of their breasts reconstructed with the help of silicone-gel breast implants, or when they have undergone some other physical trauma.
8- In the case of hypomastia and amastia, what benefits does plastic surgery brings to patients who undergo augmentation mastoplasty?
Studies prove that for cases of hypomastia and amastia, increasing the volume of the breast brings positive changes to the quality of life and self-esteem of patients submitted to this type of surgery. These changes include how the patient's life is affected physical, psychologically and socially, since the breast have been acknowledged across the ages and in different cultures as the symbol of feminity, sensuality and maternity.
9-What types of incision are used to augment the breast?
Besides the axillary, transareolar and periareolar incisions, the most used option is incision in the inframammary fold.
10- Are there different surgical procedures?
Yes. Your doctor will be able to provide you with valuable information in this respect.
11-What about the positioning of the implant?
In operations to augmentations the breast, the implant can be positioned either below the glandular tissue (retroglandular) or below the muscle (retomuscular).
In breast reconstruction, the positioning of the implant will depend on the patient's oncological condition. Your doctor will tell you the best position in your case.
12- Is it possible to detect a tumor in breast with implants?
Both the mammography and other specific examinations detect tumors even in the initial stages.
However, there are studies showing that, in some cases, tumors are not possible to be detected by mammography. Thus, it is advisable that persons bearing implants talk to the radiologist, so that the most suitable type of exam is chosen.
13-What influence does a breast implant have on cancer treatment?
Major studies, even published by international organizations, have proved that women with mammary implants are not more susceptible to breast cancer than women without implants.
It is also proved that there is no relation whatsoever between the silicon of any of the three existing surfaces and the development of cancer.
Another quite interesting study has shown that, among women who had breast cancer and underwent mastectomy, survival is longer in those who had their breast reconstructed.
14-Can the silicone gel leak?
In comparison with first-generation implants, only insignificant traces of gel can be found in the capsular tissue, This is due to the proven quality both of the implant envelopes and the filling gel, which is highly cohesive and of low transudation.
15-How long does an implant last?
The patient must have periodical follow-up to assess the need to change the implant. Although the limits of the useful life of implants are not acknowledged by the scientific community, Silimed defines an average period of ten years as the expected useful life, but this parameter may be changed if some reason arises to justify it. Today we know of several patients in Brazil and abroad who have had the same implant for more than twenty years without any problem.