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The Lowdown on Silicone Breast Implants

If you are one of those women who are unhappy with their breasts, you must be thinking about breast implants. Now, the improvement in plastic surgery has made it possible for both women and men to improve the look of their breasts or chest. Surgeons who are tasked with restoring the look of your breasts for reconstructive purposes usually prescribe breast implants.

But nowadays, women who don’t have a large bosom and pleasing curves are opting for breast implants as well. But is this route safe? In this article, we will be looking at silicone breast implants and their risk factors. However, before going into that, it is important that we first understand what a breast implant is all about.

What Is A Breast Implant?

A breast implant is an artificial device inserted into the breast in order to enlarge and improve its look. The implant is normally composed of a fluid or gel-like material.

There are basically three types of implant: silicone gel, saline solution, and composite filler. Surgeons implant these materials into the breast to enlarge them during breast implant surgical procedures.

There are several reasons  why doctors consider breast implants to be such effective procedures. Breast implants work to correct congenital defects, chest wall deformities, and to aid with post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. They are also a means of creating breasts during male-to-female transsexual plastic surgery. So both women and men can opt for breast implants.

The decision to get breast implants for any reason is always an important one, and so you need to know the options available to you. You should be well-educated about the pros and cons of each option in order to make an informed decision.

Let’s discuss the lowdown on silicone breast implants.

Understanding Silicone Breast Implants

AmericanTwo American plastic surgeons, Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow, first developed the silicone breast implant in 1961.

Even though the first silicone breast implant surgical procedure was conducted in 1962, the procedure didn’t start to become popular until the 1980s.

Silicone breast implants contain a thick, sticky fluid known as silicone gel, which feels like human fat. Surgeons claim that this type of implant has the look and feel of natural breast tissue. Thus, one may not be able to differentiate between silicone implants and natural breasts.

This type of implant can be applied for reconstruction purposes on any woman, regardless of her age. However, for cosmetic purposes, it is only applicable on women who are 22 years and older.

The Five Generations Of Silicone Breast Implants

silicone gel-filled breast implantsThere are five generations of medical device technology employed in the production of silicone gel-filled breast implants.

The major differences between these implants lie in the techniques used in producing them.

1. The First Generation

This was the model developed by Cronin and Gerow. It was comprised of teardrop shaped-like rubber envelope sacs containing viscous silicone-gel.

2. The Second Generation

This generation of the implant became popular in the 1970’s. The model combined functionality and aesthetics.

3. Third And Fourth Generations

improvements in the manufacturing technologiesThese generations of silicone breast implants came into existence in the 1980s. They resulted from improvements in the manufacturing technologies, which included a thicker, more cohesive filler gel and elastomer-coated shells that reduced gel-bleed.

4. The Fifth Generation

woman's bodyThe fifth generation of silicone-gel breast implants was introduced in the 1990’s. It uses a semi-solid gel that was able to forestall the occurrence of the leakage of the filler.

The model is also able to prevent the silicone gel from migrating to other parts of the woman’s body.

The American FDA approved the use of silicone implants in 2006 after reviewing findings of various researches done on the health implications of the implants themselves. Based on the research undertaken, no disease is associated to silicone implants. However, this does not imply that the procedure is totally risk free. There are certain risks associated with it as well.

What Are The Risks of Silicone Breast Implants?

Like any other breast implant, silicone breast implants have their threats. Here are some of the risk factors and safety issues of silicone breast implants that you should be aware of.

1. Silicone Breast Implants Have a Lifespan

longer or less than 10 yearsSilicone breast implants don’t last a lifetime. Gradually, they wear out over time. According to the FDA estimation, a silicone breast implant should last up to 10 years before it begins to wear out. However, it can last longer or less than 10 years as well, depending on various other factors.

2. Implants May Permanently Alter Your Breast Tissue

natural lookBefore you opt for breast implants, you should know that the surgical procedure could cause irreversible damage to your breasts.

Your breasts may not regain their natural look in the future if you decide to have the implants removed.

The removal of the implant may cause excessive wrinkling and scarring. Thus, you should go for silicone breast implants only if you know that you want to have them permanently.

3. Implants Likely to Cause Breastfeeding Issues

BreastfeedingBreast pain is one of the risk factors associated with breast implants of any type. In some cases, there are reports of women with breast implants being unable to breastfeed their babies. Some have also been found to suffer from abnormal lactation, infection of the breast, blockage in the breast milk ducts, and breast milk production in women who were not pregnant.

Breast milk provides nutrition for babies and helps to strengthen their immune system. Breastfed babies are also less likely to have various health issues such as asthma, allergies, respiratory issues and gastrointestinal diseases.

newborn and motherWhat’s more, breastfeeding is beneficial for mothers, too. It helps to form a psychological bond between newborn and mother while helping in postpartum recovery.

Moreover, breastfeeding helps mothers to shed their excessive weight and return to their pre-pregnancy weight.

It is, therefore, a considerable issue to take into account that breast implants may make it more challenging for mothers to breastfeed successfully.

4. Surgical Complications

There are certain surgical complications that may result from breast implants, such as swelling, bleeding, and surgical infection. Some of these complications cause painful symptoms. There is also the risk of having some degree of rupture or leakage of the implant.

horrifyingWhat’s more horrifying is that it is difficult to spot silicone implant rupture. You may not know when there is leakage.

Thus, it is advisable that you monitor your silicone breast implants using a routine MRI every two years.

On detecting any leakage, your doctor may recommend another surgery for its removal. The procedure can also cause changes in nipple and breast sensation.

Most of these health risks associated with silicone breast implants can be corrected. However, their rectification may warrant further surgery. You should know that most of the women that opt for breast implant surgery on a yearly basis have to deal with various complications. In the end, there are very few that are completely satisfied with the result.

5. Implants Can Obscure Mammography Images

Mammography ImagesMammograms are an effective way to screen for breast cancer in women. Well, the accuracy of mammograms may be affected by breast implants.

Numerous studies have found that silicone breast implants sometimes make it impossible to conduct a mammogram.

This usually happens because of capsular contracture. It is a condition where the scar tissue surrounding the implant tightens and makes the breast misshapen and hard.

Mammograms require compression of the breast, and this becomes excruciatingly painful is there is capsular contracture. Usually, women avoid getting mammograms because they are afraid of the pain, as well as the rupture of the implant.

6. Breast Implants May Not Be Covered By Insurance

Covered By InsuranceAnother point that you should take into consideration before you opt for breast implants is that breast augmentation may cost you a lot, as it may not be covered by insurance.

Well, there are certain instances where breast implants are covered by insurance, such as when you require implant reconstruction after a mastectomy. So, you should ensure you have enough money in your account to pay for the expenses of the surgery before you go for it.

It should be your decision whether to go for silicone implants or not.

scaryBut, it is important to remember that going for complicated breast augmentation methods such as surgical implants is full of risks.

Breast implants may be all the rage among today’s women. However, there are some sensible ladies who think that acquiring shapely breasts though invasive treatments is a perturbing and scary process.

If you are really not satisfied with your breast size, there are more natural and safer ways to augment your shape and size. Instead of resorting to surgical breast implants, it is best to use natural supplements and gels from These products are simple to use, natural and result-oriented.