In Singapore, breast augmentation surgeries done using breast implants are arguably among the most popular cosmetic surgeries done by women. However, although breast augmentation (also known as breast enhancement surgery) is one of the most common and well know plastic surgery procedures, there are still some questions and misconceptions surrounding the use of breast implants; What is an appropriate implant size to get? How often, if at all, should a woman replace her implants? These are just some of the questions frequently asked.
Breast augmentation can be done using fat-grafting, the use of breast implants, or a combination of both techniques. If you are still on the fence about using implants, recognizing your options, knowing the advantages, and clearing the myths about implant usage may be useful in helping you navigate you decision making process.
With the advent of the internet, it is understandable that you might be overwhelmed by the quantity of information available online. This article shares and summarizes 5 common but interesting facts about breast augmentation done using implants, read on if you are keen on finding out more about breast implants.
5 must know facts about breast implants
Before delving into the facts, it is critical to understand why individuals may want to undergo the surgery in the first place. Breast augmentation surgery may be done to:
- Reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy (partial or complete surgical removal of one or both breasts. Usually done as a last resort to treat breast cancer)
- To correct congenital breasts/chest wall defects
- Done as an elective cosmetic surgery to alter breast size or volume. Reasons for doing so range from boosting body image and self-esteem to a matter of personal preference
- To correct complications from a previously done breast augmentation surgery
Now that we have considered the reasons why a breast augmentation surgery may be desired, we can tackle some of the top concerns when considering if an implant should be used.
1. Breast implants will not prevent you from breastfeeding
One of the top concerns when even considering getting a breast enhancement, let alone the use of breast implants, is the impact it would have on the ability to breastfeed. The good news is breast implants do not affect your ability to breastfeed or produce breast milk, however, this statement does come with a few caveats which we will discuss.
Most concerns about implant usage stem from misunderstandings regarding chest anatomy and implant placement. Breast implants are not inserted under the skin or into the breast tissue, implants are placed into “implant pockets” that are located between breast tissue and ribs. While there are a four types of implant pocket placements, all four placements are in relation to the chest muscle; the breast tissue, milk production glands, and milk ducts are generally not damaged during the procedure.
Even with the usage of implants, most women remain able to nurse successfully after giving birth, thus there is usually not a need to delayed implant usage until after you have given birth or have stopped breastfeeding. However, while breast milk production is not affected, the location of the surgical incision to insert the implants and the location of the implants (eg. directly beneath the breast tissue) may cause discomfort or difficulties when breastfeeding.
Should you intend to have children and breastfeed after undergoing breast augmentation using breast implants, it would be best to inform your plastic surgeon during your consultation. This allows them to choose an incision type that is least likely to disrupt the milk ducts, and to choose a placement position that is conducive for breast feeding.
That being said, pregnancy and breastfeeding may alter the size and shape of your breasts, thus it may be preferable to postpone breast augmentation until the volume and structure of your breast have stabilized for better results.
2. Size is not the only factor that matters
Breast augmentation surgery using breast implants is more than just about size, the material and shape of the implant also affects the shape of your breasts following the surgery. As mentioned above, another key factor to consider when using implants is their placement relative to your chest muscle.
There are four placement approaches – subglandular, subfascial, submuscular, and subpectoral. The placement location, i.e., whether the implant is placed on top of or beneath the muscle, will affect the shape of the breast. When consulting with a surgeon, it is best to discuss all possible placement options, implant material types, and sizes so that you may find something that best suits your expectations and proportions.
3. Both silicone and saline implants are safe
Two types of breast implants available in Singapore are:
- Silicone implants (filled with silicone gel)
- Saline implants (filled with sterile saline solution)
While the usage and safety of both types of implants are highly established in the cosmetic industry, which type of implant you favor ultimately comes down to your personal aesthetic preference and how comfortable you are with the potential risks associated with the use of each type of implant.
The main difference between both types of implants is the look and feel of the breasts post-surgery. Silicone implants have a feel and mass very similar to breast tissue and are more supple and “soft” compared to saline implants. Silicone implants also mimic the natural curvature and hang of the breast; thus, they are often considered the more natural looking option. Saline implants have a firmer look and feel compared to silicone implants. Post-surgery, breast with saline implants look rounder, fuller, and typically have a smoother and more “perfect” contour.
Silicone implants are also prefilled before insertion, while saline implants are filled after being inserted into the implant pocket. Due to the larger size of the filled silicone implants, larger incisions will need to be made to place silicone implants. If incision size and position are a concern for you, you may want to opt for saline implants.
In terms of risks, it is worth noting that breast implant-associated lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a cancer of the immune system, is an unlikely but potential risk associated with both types of implants. In the unfortunate event of an implant rupture, a general rule of thumb is that it is easier to detect saline implant ruptures as saline implants “deflate” unlike silicone implants.
4. Implants can be kept for an extended period of time
While breast implants have no expiration date, they are not deemed lifetime devices due to wear and tear. Between breast implants and autologous fat transfer (fat-grafting), breast enhancements done using just fat-grafting are considered permanent while enhancements made using breast implants may require you to get an implant replacement in the future.
Generally, breast implants are expected to last more than a decade inside the body without the need for a replacement. The lifespan of each patients’ implants is dependent on their body and how well they care for their implants, but the risk of a rupture does increase with every year the implant remains in the body.
5. You may require more surgery
Life changes may necessitate additional breast surgery at some point in time as your anatomy changes with age. Occasionally, women may develop thicker scar tissue that wraps around the implants, eventually distorting the shape of the breasts. While in other cases, the size and shape of your breasts may change after childbirth, which may cause the implant to shift. In both instances, you may require additional or a revision surgery to correct your breast shape.
It is best to work with a board-certified surgeon
Complications such as damaged breast tissue and milk glands or leaking and ruptured implants may occur if the procedure is not done correctly. Hence, crucial to choose an experience and meticulous surgeon to avoid potential complications. A good surgeon should be well-versed in all aspects of surgery, including breast implant removal. Additionally, they should be well equipped to treat and deal any and all unfortunate complications that may result from the surgery.
Enhance your body image with The Clifford Surgery Clinic
At The Clifford Surgery Clinic, we recognize that deciding to get a breast augmentation surgery done is a big commitment and requires much deliberation. Breast augmentation is considered major surgical procedure, as with all surgical procedures, we believe that education is key for patients to make an informed choice.
Breast augmentation surgery with the use of breast implants, when performed by a board-certified, reputable surgeon like the ones at The Clifford Surgery Clinic, is a safe and low risk procedure. Ultimately, your experience during the surgery and your post-surgery results hinge on the skills of your surgeon. To increase the likelihood of being happy with the outcome of your surgery and minimize the risks involved, it is critical to speak with a highly skilled plastic surgeon when considering breast augmentation using breast implants.
Surgeons at The Clifford Surgery Clinic undergo rigorous and extensive training, and are subjected to rigorous peer assessment. Should you seek a trusted, meticulous, and professional plastic surgeon at Novena – look no further than at The Clifford Surgery Clinic! With impeccable attention to detail and over ten years of professional experience, our plastic surgeons are equipped with the tools to conduct various safe plastic surgeries – from breast augmentation using breast implants to ptosis repair for droopy eyelids in Singapore. Contact us today when you are ready to begin your journey to greater confidence!
At The Clifford Surgery Clinic, you can rest assured that you are in good and capable hands.