Breast Reconstruction Using Implants: What are your options?
BREAST RECONSTRUCTION USING IMPLANTS: WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?
Your plastic surgeon will talk to you about your breast reconstruction options. There are a number of different options for implants that may be used during your breast reconstruction.
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They can be filled with varying amounts of saline which can affect the shape, firmness and feel of the breast.
Should the implant shell leak, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body. Saline implants can feel or look wrinkly in thin patients.
Silicone implants are filled with an elastic gel. The gel feels and moves much like natural breast tissue.
If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket. A leaking implant filled with silicone gel may not collapse. If you choose these implants, you may need to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to
make sure the implants are functioning properly.
An ultrasound or MRI screening can assess the condition of breast implants.
FORM STABLE IMPLANTS
Form stable implants mimic the natural shape of the breast and are shaped like a tear drop. They are thicker at the bottom and tapered towards the top. They are usually filled with a cohesive gel. If they rotate, they may lead to a strange appearance. It is also usually necessary to have a longer incision with these implants.
Round implants have a tendency to make reconstructed breasts appear fuller than form stable implants. They also often will make the breast project out further away from the body.
New high-profile options can lead to even more projection, if that is a concern for you. Because they are the same shape all over, there is less concern about them rotating out of place.
TEXTURED BREAST IMPLANTS
Textured breast implants allow the scar tissue to stick to the implant, making them less likely to move around inside of the breast and get repositioned.
SMOOTH BREAST IMPLANTS
Smooth breast implants move around freely inside of the breast, which may give more natural movement. These implants also have an increased risk of rippling.
Your plastic surgeon will take into account your wishes and concerns and will choose the right breast reconstruction option for you.
Note: Implant manufacturers occasionally introduce new styles and types of implants, so there may be additional options available. Whether you choose saline or silicone implants, it is important for you to monitor your breast implants and follow up with your plastic surgeon for appropriate checkups.