The placement of silicone implants gives women more confidence and thus improves their quality of life. However, this is not a guarantee of increasing self-esteem. Some women have positive experiences, but many women also have negative experiences. In all cases, the placement of silicone implants is a particularly invasive procedure. It is important to be well informed about the advantages and disadvantages of the technique.
A consultation is a good opportunity to ask and receive answers to questions. You should be well prepared and write down any questions you want to ask. It is preferable to be accompanied by a trusted person who can support you and help you remember all the information that will be given to you.
The first consultation with a cosmetic surgeon is free at Hayatmed plastic surgery clinic in Turkey for the patients from the UK. It is common for a female consultant to attend. It is advisable to meet different doctors and visit several hospitals for a first consultation. However, no final decision is taken during the first consultation. Take the time to think about it. Ultimately, this is an important decision.
During the second consultation, you will have the opportunity to make an appointment with the surgeon and to conclude a treatment agreement that will be signed by both parties.
• Hypoplasia, ie. breasts that have always had a predisposition to be small. This usually affects both breasts, but not always.
• Hypotrophy, ie. that the breasts had previously a normal size but have ’emptied’ as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
• Consequences of injuries (eg burns) or surgery for minor illnesses, eg. mastopathy.
• After an operation for malignant diseases – eg. amputation following breast cancer – which often results in mutilation. Transsexuals (men turned women).
The operation is always based on medical or psychological indications. The aim is to come to the aid of the women concerned, knowing that, in most cases, the operation considerably improves confidence and self-esteem.
Breast augmentation or boob job surgery lasts an average of one to two hours. Prostheses are usually inserted into the skin fold under the breast through an incision. This can also be done under the armpit or around the areola. Implants are inserted between the mammary gland and the pectoral muscle, or below the pectoral muscle, directly on the ribs.
At the end of the operation, the chest is dressed with a support bandage. At the incision, two drains are usually placed (small thin pipes) which are connected to two small vacuum bottles. Drains are used to eliminate serosities from the operating area. They are removed when there is almost no more serum.
Any implant triggers a reaction of the body in the face of a foreign body. This reaction consists of the formation of a shell around the implant. Sometimes this protective membrane thickens causing in some cases calcinosis and painful hardening. The shell may become wrinkled and the shape of the breast may change to such an extent that it is essential to perform a corrective operation aimed at incising or removing the shell and replacing the implant. The outer wall of silicone breast implants, the envelope, is made from synthetic silicone.
The filling of the envelope most often consists of a saline solution or a silicone gel. The silicone casing presents a low risk of leakage, as it is slightly porous and can deteriorate. These leaks are called ‘seeps’. Some of the fillings passes through the envelope and spreads throughout the body. Opinions differ considerably as to the effect of this process on health.
In the United States, silicone breast implants have been banned since 1992, following great uncertainty over the effect of ‘oozing’ on health. Recently, silicone breast implants have been in the news following the alleged leakage of reactive platinum, a very dangerous substance used in the manufacture of silicone implants.
The usual risks are related to the operation and the anesthesia. Even when the procedure is carried out completely according to the rules, there is still a risk of secondary bleeding, infection, poor healing, implant displacement, sensation disturbances, etc.
There is general agreement that patients with silicone breast implants should have an annual or biennial examination. Some cosmetic surgeons claim that these women – especially young people – need to be prepared for the thought of having to change implants one or more times in their lifetime.
The cost of having breast implants varies greatly and depends on the brand, type of filling, and operation. The cost estimate also depends on the complexity of the intervention. On average, a certified silicone prosthesis cost 3,000 to 3500 euros.
• Many articles have been published on the pros and cons of silicone breast implants.
• Tip: Talk to other women considering or having had an operation. Have exchanges in writing or by phone, talk about it and visit forums. You are not alone. Many newspapers and magazines currently have highly visited forums. You also have the possibility to post your findings or your questions here, in the forums.