According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons almost 300,000 breast augmentations were performed in 2019, making it the top cosmetic surgical procedure. Breast augmentations are popular and easily accessible for most women seeking enhancement. However, because every person’s body is unique, every person’s experience getting a breast augmentation will also be unique. When you’re planning your breast augmentation you should be aware of all the available options and associated risks so you can make the best choice for your body.
Picking Your Breast Implant
In 2021 there are more options than ever for breast implants. To learn more about each option, and why women might pick one over another we spoke to Dr. Richard de Ramón, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Central Pennsylvania. According to Dr. de Ramón, your breast augmentation consultation should include a discussion about the available implant options. “I talk about unstructured saline implants, I talk about silicone gel implants, and then I talk about the structured IDEAL IMPLANT®.” explains Dr. de Ramón. “I talk about the pros and cons of each of those.”
What are these pros and cons? Here is some basic information about the options Dr. de Ramón provides to his patients getting a breast augmentation:
- Silicone Gel: A silicone gel breast implant is composed of a solid silicone shell filled with a cohesive silicone gel that holds its shape and feels similar to natural breast tissue. However, silicone gel breast implants can rupture without the patient knowing, known as a “silent rupture.” The silicone gel can then either stay inside the shell, or leak out into surrounding tissue. The only way to detect a silent rupture is through an MRI or ultrasound. The FDA recommends women with silicone gel breast implants get periodic testing to ensure their implant is intact.
- Unstructured Saline: A solid silicone shell filled with saline makes up an unstructured saline implant. Saline is the same liquid found in IV bags and is naturally absorbed by the body in the event of a rupture. In addition, a rupture is easily detected because the implant will deflate, thus patients do not need to worry about silent rupture or schedule periodic testing. However, patients and surgeons note that this implant can feel unnatural or firm. In some cases these implants may cause the appearance of wrinkles or ripples. In other cases, they feel as natural as silicone. It’s not always possible to predict the outcome.
- IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant: Since 2014 women getting a breast augmentation have been able to choose the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant. This implant is created with a silicone shell that includes two chambers and multiple baffled layers. The implant is filled with saline, but because of the internal structure it provides stability that keeps it from rippling and wrinkling. The result is a natural feeling implant with no need for periodic testing.
According to Dr. de Ramón, some women come in knowing which implant they want to discuss first. “Some patients come in and they want saline.” he explains. “They say, ‘I’ve heard all this stuff about silicone.’ Or they’ve heard that they have to have MRIs and they don’t want to do that. They’re worried about the rupture. To them, the most important thing is safety and so they come in asking for saline.” Other patients come with a different approach. “They’ll just say, ‘Well, I want whatever’s going to look and feel the best.’” says Dr. de Ramón. Each woman should take the time to fully research her implant options and discuss them with her surgeon.
Discuss the Risks Before Getting a Breast Augmentation
Just like any surgery, breast augmentation has risks you should be aware of. One of the best ways to prepare for your surgery is to find a plastic surgeon who is honest about everything you need to know. “I think patients need to know what the issues are.” says Dr. de Ramón. “I don’t want to scare people, but it is real surgery and they need to know what the risks are.”
One risk we have already mentioned is implant rupture. If your implant ruptures the FDA recommends reoperation to remove the implant and replace it. The rate of rupture is different for different implant types. For instance, according to FDA core clinical trial data, IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant has a rupture risk of only 2.1%, compared to Mentor silicone gel breast implant’s rupture risk of 13.6%at 8 years. Compare other rupture rates by reviewing this comparison chart.
Capsular contracture, or the painful tightening of tissue around the breast implant, is another complication to be aware of before getting a breast augmentation. Again, this complication has a higher risk with certain breast implants. However, as Dr. de Ramón explains, there are also surgical methods that reduce the risk of capsular contracture. “I like to use a funnel device to put the implant in,” says Dr. de Ramón, “to decrease the risk of microscopic contamination on the pocket. There’s a well-published 14-point plan that is basically to try to avoid capsular contracture.” When discussing options with his patients Dr. de Ramón explains, “We talk a little bit about that and some of the steps that we take to try to really make sure that we’ve taken every possible precaution to prevent capsular contracture and the potential for having to reoperate.”
Overall, while you should be aware of the risks and complications associated with breast augmentations, they are not something to be afraid of. Make sure you discuss them with your plastic surgeon so you can feel confident as you move forward with your procedure.
Getting a Breast Augmentation with Dr. Richard de Ramón
Not every plastic surgeon offers all the breast implant options currently available, or is willing to let women choose the best option for their own bodies. Dr. de Ramón works hard to ensure every patient has the options and information she needs to make the best choice for her body. “Overall I think women want to have a lot of options.” says Dr. de Ramón. “Really, I’m here just to educate women about all their options and then to execute the procedure as best as it can be executed so they end up with a good result and can move on.”
Dr. de Ramón’s office is located at 2025 Technology Parkway, Suite 303, in Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. To schedule your consultation with Dr. de Ramón visit his website deramonpsi.com/contact or call 717-798-8573. Call today and learn more about the IDEAL IMPLANT.