(National) December 12, 2006 - Breast implants are one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, but some doctors admit many women are unhappy with the original size they chose. A new type of implant is changing that.
It's been about nine months since Tammy Windsor had her breast implant surgery and she couldn't be happier. For years, she was uncomfortable with her 36-A cup size.
"I decided to do it just to kind of enhance my appearance, to give me some curves 'cause I didn't have curves," said Tammy.
But like so many other women who get implants, Tammy decided she wanted a fuller size - after her surgery. The solution? Adjustable breast implants.
Dr. Thomas Jeneby says, "What the mentor brand has done is take the gel and kind of make it into a half and half implants, much like a peanut M&M, which the inside of the M&M is saline and the outside is gel."
Only one extra step is added during surgery to make the implants adjustable.
Dr. Jeneby says, "You place the port to the side of the incision in the same area of the incision so that you can retrieve the port later, at the time in the office through the same incision."
About three months after the surgery, adjustments can be made through the port. Doctor Jeneby simply adds extra saline to each implant. After six months, the port is permanently removed. Doctor Jeneby says the newer implants are a way to give control back to women to achieve their ideal size.
"Now you're filled out, you feel more curvaceous, you know, a little more flirty. And it's a lot of fun, it gives you a little more self-confidence."
Doctor Jeneby uses the mixed saline-silicone implants as part of a clinical trial. The implants are only about a hundred dollars more than traditional ones.
For more information on the the Spectrum® Postoperatively Adjustable breast implants, click here>>
For general information on breast augmentation:
- The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Breast augmentation is the surgical enlargement of one or both breasts. The procedure usually involves placement of an implant under the chest tissue.
A breast implant is a pouch with a silicone shell that is filled with some type of fluid. There are two main kinds. Saline implants, the most commonly used kind, are filled with a saline (salt water) solution. Generally, an incision is made into the chest and the implant is slipped into a pocket. Once in place, saline is injected into the implant through a tiny valve. Silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel-like substance. Recently, the FDA approved the use of two silicone gel-filled implants for breast augmentation and reconstruction.
Breast augmentation is the second most popular cosmetic surgery procedure. Last year, 364,610 breast augmentations were performed in the U.S. More than 50 percent of patients are 19 to 34 at the time of the surgery. Women 35 to 50 make up the second largest age group for the surgery.
There are several reasons a woman may choose to have a breast augmentation. A woman may want to enhance her natural breast size or shape. Sometimes the procedure is performed to correct changes in the volume and shape of the breasts after pregnancy. Breast augmentation may be performed on one breast to restore symmetry when one breast is larger than the other.
Thomas Jeneby, M.D., a Plastic Surgeon with the Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas, says some women who have breast augmentation decide they would have rather gone with a larger sized breast. Traditionally, the only way to correct the size was to remove the old implant and replace it with a larger one.
Now, women have another option. The adjustable breast implant allows doctors to increase the size of the implant (or, if preferred, make it smaller) after surgery. The Spectrum® Postoperatively Adjustable breast implant is composed of a silicone shell with saline filling. When the implant is placed, an attached fill tube, or port, is temporarily left in place under the skin.
Within three months of the surgery, the swelling has gone down and patients are able to see their new breast size. If the patient is not satisfied with the outcome, the size can be changed by adding or removing saline through the tube. Adjustments can be made up to six months after the surgery. Once the final adjustment is made, the fill tube is removed in an office procedure. A self-sealing valve closes and seals the implant.
The adjustable saline implants cost about $100 more than traditional implants and are recommended for almost any woman who wants to have a breast augmentation. Currently there is a clinical trial for an adjustable silicone breast implant. The center of this implant contains a saline solution surrounded by a silicone gel.