Breast implant surgery is typically requested by a patient to increase the size or change the shape of the breasts. Some patients want to have breast implants for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, while others have cosmetic reasons. Let’s take a closer look at ‘how do breast implants work’ to achieve patients’ surgical goals and what you might expect.
Why Do Women Get Breast Implants?
Breast implants are chosen for a variety of reasons, including
- To restore your cup size
- To achieve symmetry, if the breasts are asymmetrical
- For breast reconstruction after a mastectomy
- To improve self-confidence and body image.
Why Do Breasts Go Through Changes?
Hormonal and life stage changes in the human can cause the breasts to go through a lot of change. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the breasts fill up with milk, and the nipples get darker. This causes a temporary increase in volume and size. However, when your body stops producing milk, your breasts may shrink and become smaller.
When women enter menopause, hormonal changes such as a decrease in oestrogen, can cause the breasts to get smaller. The tissue of the breasts loses elasticity, leading to a loss of volume, which may affect your cup size. As breast tissue weakens, and skin loses its elasticity, gravity pulls the breasts downward, causing them to sag. Your breasts may feel ofter or less firm than they used to.
How Do Breast Implants Work To Restore Volume?
Essentially breast implants are designed to restore volume loss in the breasts. They are inserted during breast implant surgery to increase the size of the breasts or to change their shape. It’s important to note that breast implant surgery alone will not address sagging breasts. If sagging breasts are a concern for you, speak to your cosmetic surgeon about a breast lift, where any loose skin can be removed, and your breasts can be repositioned higher up on your chest.
How Do Breast Implants Work: What To Expect From Your Procedure
Before the procedure
Before going ahead with any kind of surgery, it’s advisable to get a second (or even a third) opinion. You should expect a long consultation with your cosmetic surgeon to assess if the procedure is really what you want and if it will achieve your goals. Consider if there are any alternatives and make sure you are aware of any risks and that you have weighed them up against the benefits.
Your cosmetic surgeon will discuss the different types of breast implants that are available, as well as the different shapes and sizes. While it may be tempting to choose a large breast implant, it’s important that the size and shape compliment your body type and shape. Let your cosmetic surgeon guide you in terms of getting the right proportions. Many women opt to restore a previous cup size when they have breast implant surgery, as it gives a natural look.
Types of breast implants
There are two types of breast implants available: silicone and saline. Both saline and silicone breast implants are contained within a silicone envelope; the difference is in their contents. Saline implants are filled with a saline solution, while silicone implants are filled with silicone. Ask your cosmetic surgeon if you can see and feel them before making a decision.
During the surgical procedure
Breast implants are inserted under general anaesthesia. Your breast implant surgery is likely to take between an hour and two hours to complete. Before the breast implant surgery, your surgeon will draw the incision marks onto your chest. Once you are in surgery, the surgeon will cut along these lines to make an incision into which the implants can be inserted.
Saline implants are often inserted empty and filled once they have been placed. Silicone implants are usually inserted full and often require a larger incision to be made. They can be inserted in front of or behind your pectoral muscle, which will hold the implant in place. Once the implants have been inserted, the incisions will be stitched up, and a dressing will be placed over the surgical sites. If you would like to have a breast lift, it can be done at the same time as your breast implant surgery.
After the procedure
You will be given post-operative care instructions to assist you with healing and recovery. Getting lots of rest, staying upright as much as possible, eating nutritious and wholesome meals, and taking any medication prescribed for you should help you to heal quickly.
Over a period of a few weeks, your wounds will heal, and tissue will grow around the breast implant. Your incisions will heal, and any swelling will subside. After around six weeks, you can expect to have resumed all of your day-to-day activities and enjoy your new breast shape and size.
Do Implants Last Forever?
Most implants last for around ten years before they need to be removed or replaced.
Working with a skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeon can help you to achieve the results you want. To find out more about ‘how do breast implants work’ or to make a confidential appointment, please contact us: (02) 8599 7161.
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