Capsular contracture occur when the excessive scar tissue forms around the breast implant. There are many causes for this. At Dr. Hong’s clinic, we use techniques to minimize breast implants contractures. This include meticulous hemostasis, topical and systemic antibiotic and funnel to minimize contact with the breast implants during surgery.
The outer surface of the implants can be either smooth or textured. The theoretical benefit of textured implants supposedly has lower chance of capsular contractures. Recently, a rare form of lymphoma (ALCL), have been associated with textured implants. Dr. Hong’s clinic uses almost exclusively smooth implants to avoid the risk of ALCL.
The common belief is that the lifespan of breast implants is about 10 years. The Institute of Medicine estimates that breast implants last for about 16 years. In our clinic a lot of breast implants that were placed over 24 years ago are still intact. Recently, manufacturers such as Mentor and Allergan offer conditional guarantee of their implants in the event of a rupture.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both silicone-filled and saline-filled breast implants. Both are basically shaped silicone envelopes that are filled with silicone gel or salt water (saline). Silicone breast implants are filled either with cohesive gel or with “highly” cohesive gel; the latter are sometimes referred to as “gummy bear” implants due to their consistency.
Yes. Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did remove silicone-filled breast implants from the market in 1992 after lawsuits alleged they increased a woman’s risk of autoimmune and connective tissue diseases, a subsequent FDA investigation could not find any link between silicone breast implants and these diseases. As a result, they re-approved silicone-gel-filled implants in 2006. The FDA issued an interim safety report in 2011 calling these implants relatively safe but stating that they were not meant to last a lifetime. Implant removal or replacement may be needed after 10 years.
Overfilling involves adding more saline to the breast implant than the manufacturer says is the maximum amount. This is only an option with saline breast implants, as they are filled after implantation. Saline implants come in a wide range of sizes, and all of them have both a minimum and maximum fill amount. Overfilling may make the implant feel firmer, but will not affect its size. Overfilling may also increase the risk of deflation, and may void your warranty.
Expandable saline-filled breast implants can be adjusted in size by adding more saline through a special valve, or port. Originally, this type of implant was primarily used for women undergoing breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery, but they may also have a role in cosmetic breast augmentation. Here’s how they work: A surgeon uses a syringe to either inject saline into — or draw saline out of — the implants through a port that is placed beneath the skin where the implant was originally inserted. This can allow a woman room to experiment with breast size, without undergoing revision breast augmentation.