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Weighing the Implant Decision: Is it Right for You?

The decision to get breast implants is an important one because it can have a major impact on many women’s day-to-day lives. It’s essential to find the right plastic surgeon in order to make sure you’re satisfied with the results and your decision to move forward with the procedure.

A breast augmentation can be life changing. A majority of patients report an increased level of self esteem and confidence, revived motivation, and a more positive outlook on life.

Reasons to have Breast Augmentation Surgery

A breast augmentation is a procedure designed to make breasts fuller and larger, usually with the use of implants. A breast augmentation can also help reduce or eliminate asymmetry in the breasts, such as breasts that are uneven or two different sizes. This is actually one of the most common reasons women decide to have a breast augmentation, and the results can often be achieved without the use of implants.

Breast augmentation with implants is one of the oldest, safest forms of plastic surgery available, making it a procedure with a high success rate. The number of procedures performed each year has tripled in the last twenty years to over 300,000 breast augmentations per year in the United States. One or two incisions are made to the outside and underneath the breast where the minimal scarring is less noticeable. The implant is inserted under the overlying breast tissue and above the chest muscle wall.

Choosing Saline versus Silicone Implants

Most breast augmentation patients will be receiving implants and need to choose between saline and silicone implants. Both types of implants consist of an outer silicone shell, but one is injected with liquid saline and the other has a silicone gel-filled center.

Silicone implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue, while saline implants sometimes look and feel hard and unnatural. This can be somewhat compensated for by slightly overfilling the injection shell. Silicone implants tend to be more expensive than saline implants. This can be a factor since plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons is not normally covered by health insurance plans.

There is always the risk of a leak or rupture with a breast implant, and this consideration should be part of your decision when choosing silicone versus saline implants. Some plastic surgeons prefer saline implants because the patient will notice almost immediately if the implant has leaked or ruptured.

The saline is naturally absorbed by the body and poses no risk to the patient, although the implant shell will need to be removed and replaced. When a silicone implant leaks or ruptures, the patient may not notice for a while or ever. It’s recommended that breast augmentation patients receive regular MRIs in order to detect an unknown rupture.

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