There are many options in choosing breast implants for breast augmentation. A new option has recently been added to the mix; the Ideal Implant.
Breast implants can be filled with saline (salt water) or silicone gel filled. The saline implants are filled at the time of surgery and the silicone gel implants come prefilled. The outside can be smooth or have varying degrees of roughness or texturing. The implants can be partially filled, completely filled or overfilled. They can have different width to height rations or different types and degrees of projection. The gel can be very soft, medium or firm. The implants can be completely round or have a shape with various dimensions of height, width and projection.
Each implant has its pros and cons.
The two largest general categories for implants are saline filled and silicone gel filled. The silicone gel implants tend to be softer and more natural but can have silent ruptures. A rupture is when the implant breaks but you really can’t tell that it is broken just by looking at or feeling the implant. This has led to the FDA recommendation to perform MRI scans three years after placing the implants and every two years thereafter. The MRI scan is the best noninvasive way to determine if the implant is broken. These scans are usually not covered by insurance. It is also recommended that if there is a ruptured implant that it be replaced. Replacement of a ruptured silicone gel implant requires removal of the scar tissue around the implant at the same time. This is done to remove as much of the free silicone gel as possible.
If a saline implant breaks it will deflate. It is very evident when that has occurred. No MRI scans are needed. If they do have to be replaced it is a much less invasive and simpler procedure when compared to the silicone gel implants. Saline implants do have the downside of being less natural in the way they look and feel. They look rounder and feel firmer. There may also be more rippling of the saline implant when compared to the silicone gel implant.
There is now a new implant that combines some of the pros and eliminates some of the negatives of silicone gel and saline implants. It is called the Ideal implant. It is a saline implant that looks, feels and acts like a silicone gel implant but does not require MRI follow up. Just like saline implants it will deflate visibly if ruptured and is easily replaced. It is also adjustable when initially placed. Just like silicone gel implants it is softer and more natural in look and feel.
The Ideal implant is priced about the same as a silicone gel implant and carries similar warranties. The incision tends to be smaller than that for a silicone gel implant because it is filled with the salt water after it is in place, unlike the silicone gel implant that is prefilled.
This new type of implant was developed by plastic surgeons and appears to offer a suitable alternative to the old style saline implants and the silicone gel filled implants. A complete discussion with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with extensive experience in breast augmentation can help you decide what type of implant is right for you.
Many people will not consider a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure because they think they are too old. This question really can be broken down into two aspects; health and attitude.
A very important consideration in undergoing plastic surgery is a person’s health regardless of their age. We have treated many men and women who were in their seventies and eighties for cosmetic procedures who were quite healthy. Alternatively, we have discouraged the pursuit of cosmetic surgical procedures in patients who were not healthy enough to undergo them. We offer less invasive procedures for these patients when appropriate.
We decide jointly (the physician and the patient) what is most appropriate for any particular patient but never put the patient’s health in jeopardy. We will often obtain the medical opinion of their family doctor, internist or cardiologist to assess their health status and their ability to successfully undergo a procedure.
Your attitude is also a very important factor in deciding to have a cosmetic procedure performed. People are living longer and maintaining healthier lifestyles than in the past. They tend to persist in work and physical activities rather than be arbitrarily slowed by the accumulation of years. They have a young attitude and want their bodies and faces to match the youthful way they feel. These people seek out the benefits that plastic surgery has to offer.
If you feel old, regardless of your age, and feel that old people should look and act their age you may not have the attitude to even consider a cosmetic procedure. In order to appreciate the benefits of having a cosmetic procedure that may make you look better and feel better, you truly need the proper attitude. When asked how he stays so active and healthy at the age of 87 Clint Eastwood said, “Just don’t let the old man in!”
Choosing your plastic surgeon can be a complicated decision. For those of you looking for some guidance on what areas are important to consider, here are some guidelines I think may help:
Certification. Choose a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This is the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons and Oculoplastic Surgeons are also well-trained and qualified in their respective fields to perform plastic surgery.
Experience. Ask how many times the surgeon has performed the procedure you’re interested in. The more experience, the better.
Hospital Privileges. Does the physician have hospital privileges to perform the procedure? If a physician can only operate in their office or surgery center because a hospital does not recognize their training or certification in that procedure, beware.
Reputation. A doctor’s public image and reputation is important. References can be obtained from other doctors, friends, family, social media, and online resources.
Comfort. It is important that you are comfortable with the physician. During your consultation you can determine what his staff and office are like and how they treat you. How do they make you feel?
Pictures of Results. It is always helpful to see pictures of results from patients who had the same procedure. Beware: unless it is confirmed that you are seeing ALL of this physician’s results, you are probably just seeing the best results.
Relationship with Doctor. How do you get along with the doctor and his/her team? Have they answered all your questions? Do you completely understand the options and procedures? Make sure you’re comfortable asking this physician questions so you have as much information as you need.
Your “Sixth Sense”. Sometimes there is just something that you can’t put your finger on that is saying this is or is not the right doctor. There is nothing wrong with this – you need to feel comfortable and confident in your choice!
This is a big decision and it is important to do your homework. Continue to ask questions until you are educated, excited and comfortable to move forward!