Breast Enhancement with Implants
Surgery to enhance one’s breasts has steadily been rising in popularity in the past few decades with more and more women choosing to have the size and shape of their breasts enhanced to a larger, rounder form. Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Leo Lapuerta, triple board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon has been performing breast implant surgery in Houston for many years and is excited to provide his patients with the breasts they have always dreamed of having.
Types of Breast Implants
Saline-filled implants and silicone gel implants are the two types of implants used for breast augmentation today. The saline-filled implant has been the most popular choice for the past 15 years, but the silicone gel implant is now being recommended to many patients seeking larger breasts. In 1992, silicone gel implant use was restricted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but in November 2006, silicone gel breast implants were approved for all women age 22 and over. Silicone gel implants were originally believed to pose serious health risks such as autoimmune disorders and connective tissue disease, but those concerns have not been supported in medical studies of the silicone implant, and their popularity continues to grow.
For more information, see Breast Implant Options.
Saline-filled breast implants have been the more common implant used for many years. Saline-filled implants are constructed of a tough, semi-permeable silicone elastomer shell with a single valve on the front (anterior) surface of the implant. The saline-filled implants come in smooth and textured surface and round or contoured shapes. Contoured shapes are also referred to as anatomical, teardrop, and biodimensional shapes.
Most saline implants are single lumen and are filled at the time of surgery. Ruptures in breast implants can happen, and although breast implants are made to be strong and stable, there are instances where they can break, and the saline filler may leak and circulate throughout the body. If a rupture occurs, a saline breast will simply deflate, and the saline held within the implant would harmlessly absorb within the body.
This safety feature is just one of the many reasons why saline-filled implants have been the popular choice for so long. Saline breast implants are extremely versatile; they do vary in terms of shell surface, volume, shell thickness, profile shape, and ability to expand. Saline-filled implants are certainly a popular choice to fix disproportion between breasts or to gain proportion within your body.
Silicone Gel Implants
Silicone gel implants’ outer shell is similar to that of the saline-filled implant in that it is made of solid silicone material; however, silicone implants are filled with silicone gel, which is a semi-solid material. In silicone gel implants, the surface may be smooth or textured (multiple fine bumps on the surface of the implant). There is some evidence that textured implants have a lower incidence of scar formation around them, but since a textured implant adheres to the surrounding skin, there may be visible rippling (wrinkling) of the skin. A textured implant also requires a larger incision due to the increased difficulty of sliding the implants through the surgical opening.
The silicone gel implant is usually inserted through an incision in the crease under the breast or just above it. The incision may be 3-6cm in length. An incision at or above the fold is often hidden by the slight droop of the breast and not seen unless someone is looking up under the breast. Silicone implants can also be inserted through an incision in the armpit, but this is much more difficult and more difficult insertions may cause damage to the implants.
Silicone gel implants have been known to leak through the shell. Rupture of an implant may be related to the length of time it has been in the body. Rupture may also be caused by force or traumas, such as a blow to the chest or a jolt from a car accident. Additional surgery may be required to repair or remove a ruptured breast implant.
If you live in Texas and would like to learn more about Houston breast implants, please contact our Houston Plastic Surgery office today to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Lapuerta serves patients in Houston, Sugar Land, Pearland and Friendswood, Texas.