As indicated in the blog last week there are a number of breast implant options available to you in regard to cosmetic breast augmentation.

Implants have used for breast augmentation since the 1960's and have since gone through generational research and development changes leading us to the implants available today. The implants developed in the 1960's and 1970's were prone to complications mainly due to their liquid silicone fill. These problems lead to silicone implants being withdrawn from the Unied States market from 1992-2006 after government pressure. The problematic implants were subsequently replaced with improved implants that addressed the earlier faults.

In New Zealand we did not have this issue of silicone implants being removed from the market and as such New Zealand Plastic Surgeons have significant experience with silicone implants. It was interesting working in Los Angeles and attending conferences in the United States in that United States Plastic Surgeons still prefer to use saline implants simply because their experience and training has predominately been with saline implants. However, there is now a trend towards more silicone filled implants being used in the United States.

The most exciting change in implants have been the use of silicone cohesive gel as a filler. It has a very natural feel and similar density to natural breast tissue but because it is cohesive the leakage issue has been all but eliminated. All silicone implants have a silicone shell and there is a choice between a smooth and textured shell.  The tesxtured shell was developed in an effort to minimise capsular contracture  development.

The theory with texturing implant surfaces is that they disorganise the capsule formation creating a thinner and more pliable capsule. There are varying degrees of texturing available from different implant manufacturers. Another surface option used to produce low rates of capsular contracture is to coat implants with polyurethane foam. Implant companies that currently supply the New Zealand market include Silimed, Allergan, Mentor, Eurosilicone and Nagor. All have interesting points of interest and Plastic Surgeons have their own particular likes and dislikes. 

It pays to be well informed about the implants being used, not only in regard to the implant shell or whether the fill is silicone or saline, but also of the implant size in regard to volume, diameter and projection and whether the implant is round or anatomically shaped. Anatomical implants tend to be used in augmentation situations where there is no or very little breast tissue pre-operatively. 

In these situations, breast shape is determined by the anatomically shaped implant. If a round implant was used in these situations it would create a rounded undesirable appearance.  In situations where the patient has a moderate amount of breast tissue or has lost breast volume after post breast feeding, pregnancy or weight loss then a round implant may be a better option.I hope this information has been useful to you for when you consult your Plastic Surgeon to discuss your breast augmentation surgery. 

If you have any further queries or comments regarding breast augmentation feel free to contact me at