Plastic surgery is a vast medical area that affects lives of many people in the American society and as such is governed by two bodies: ABPS (American Board of Plastic Surgery) and AOBS (American Osteopathic Board of Surgery). While the association of surgeons certified to perform plastic surgery is ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
There are majorly two types of plastic surgery which can be done on different parts of the body. These include reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. A breast implant which is part of breast surgery is one of the procedures that fall within either of the two treatment options.
Breast implants are devices that are flexible, sac-like in shape and could either be filled with gel or assorted fluids that are inserted under breasts or chest to change breast shape, size or reconstruct it when damaged or removed after mastectomy. It could also be done to create new breasts for sex change (transgender) patients or in revision surgery for keeping initial surgery in check.
Breast implant materials
Currently, there are only 2 types of materials that are approved by the plastic surgeons boards and The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in breast implants treatment. The materials come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and weight. They include:
i. Saline-filled implants – which are elastic silicone shells containing sterile salty water. These are considered much safer in case of leakage or rapture since the normal saline fluid can be accommodated by the body system.
ii. Silicone-filled implants – which are elastic silicone sacs containing silicone gel. They are made in such a way that any leakage is trapped within the implant pockets otherwise it could be toxic to the body.
Types of Breast Implants
The type of breast implant depends on the nature of correction or constructive procedure to be done on the breast or chest. This is manifested in shape, size or texture of the resultant implant. They include:
a. Round breast implant – this make the breast appear more round and fuller in shape and is most preferred because it is more symmetrical therefore no worry of breast swinging out of position.
b. Textured implant – this is more firm and stationary since the implant is stuck to the scar tissue. Mostly used for corrective surgery after mastectomy.
c. Form stable implant – this is pointed at the top and wider at the bottom. It is very firm and can retain the shape in case it breaks which is unlikely since it is more dense, thicker and tougher.
d. Smooth implant – just like the name suggests, it is soft, flexible and can swing with movement therefore feel more natural.
Who can undergo breasts implant?
Mostly women go for breast implant procedures. The reasons for making that choice vary from one person to the other depending on what they feel or think about themselves, obsession due to media or sometimes medical purpose. Below are some of the candidates most eligible for it.
- Women with asymmetrical breasts
- Women with under-sized breast
- Mastectomy patients that need to regain their breasts
- Women with saggy breasts post-pregnancy or due to aging
Benefits of undertaking breast implants
The breast surgery procedure for inserting breast implants if successful can bring many benefits to the recipient. The main ones include:
- Improved self esteem and confidence in women
- Enhanced and balanced physique
- Psychologically aids faster healing from mastectomy as it disguises scars
The risks and complications of breast implants
Insertion of prosthesis being a surgical process, the entire procedure is a risk in itself. Even if one performs it under a qualified and certified plastic surgeon, there still lurks risk of complications after the surgery. These may include:
- Risks of internal bleeding
- Adverse body response to anesthesia used
- Infections may occur such as sclerosis and lupus
- Permanent loss of sensation in nipples
- Risks of leakage or breakage
- Persistent pain due to slow healing or pressure
- Breasts may slip, rotate or change position
- Fluids may accumulate within implant pockets
- The skin around breasts may scar badly or
- Form wrinkles and creases
One is advised to regularly visit the surgeon during healing and later on go for checkups consistently after some specified time span to know the status of the implants.
What kind of doctor is needed for successful breast implants?
While the decision to undergo a breast implant could be personal, it is very important to select a surgeon who is a member of ASPS. These are highly trained, experienced and therefore you’ll feel much safer in their hands. Some of the qualifications to look for in your doctor are:
- Must be a graduate of accredited medical college
- Must be a surgeon certified by ABPS or RCPSC (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
- Must be undergoing annual refresher CME (Continuous Medical Education) to stay up-to-date
- Must have the experience of carrying out successful surgeries in certified medical or private institution
- Must be proficient in official language to limit language barrier since this requires perfect communication and understanding between you two.
The cost of breast implants
In the 21st Century where media has portrayed body image as a fundamental aspect of lifestyle particularly to women, breast implant has increasingly become one of the most sought after plastic surgery procedures. This has seen the cost of undertaking it increase tremendously. The ASPS report of 2010 shows that breast implant cost ranged from US $3, 500 to US $3,700. This cost went up in 2012 where it was US $4,500. This year statistics shows that it could double up depending on the type of implant done.
The breast surgery procedure for the implant in its entirety is costly due to different charges arising from:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Pre-surgery tests fee
- Anesthesia charges
- Surgical institution’s fee
- Post-surgery medication
- Recovery stay charges
- After surgery recovery clothing
Sometimes the cost could go higher in case of repairing a recently done implant when it is leaking. One is advised to understand his or her medical insurance scheme if it covers for breast surgery. Since this is a delicate procedure that requires a qualified surgeon; you can only get value for money if you seek the best around your region.