Types of Breast Implants
In general, there two types of breast implants saline and silicone gel. Both consist of a silicone outer shell but the inside of the implant is what makes it different. As the name suggests, saline implants are filled with saline or sterile saltwater while silicone gel implants are filled with silicone gel.
Silicone breast implants were introduced in 1962. During the 1980s, the popularity of silicone gel breast implants increased but so did the accounts of the apparent risks. Many people claimed that there was a connection between ruptured silicone gel implants and a larger amount of risk of immunological disorders. Although no study established a firm connection, FDA looked into the issue. As a result, in 1992, FDA restricted the use of silicone gel breast implants to women having reconstruction after surgery for breast cancer.
In 2006, after reviewing the studies carried out and having found no connection between the two, FDA approved the sale of certain silicone gel breast implants.
What are the possible risks that you may face in future?
The following possible risks were taken from portions of the guidelines issued by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to doctors who would be preparing informed consent forms to women who are considering breast implant surgery.
One of the risks would be risk of rupture and leaks. Breast implants can fail, no matter how much assurance your surgeon gives you. The implants are just held together by a silicone outer shell which may break or leak. In the event that the saline implant leaks, the liquid is absorbed by the body. Ruptures may arise from an injury or no apparent cause or even during mammography. As a result, broken or damaged implants cannot be repaired while ruptured or deflated implants would require a replacement or removal.
Another risk is mammography. Breast implants would make mammography more difficult as the implants may obscure the detection of breast cancer.
Skin wrinkling and rippling is also known to occur as a result of the breast implants. Although some wrinkling is normal and expected, this may be more obvious in patients who opt for saline breast implants or have thin breast tissue. The implant may also become visible at the surface of the breast as a result of the implant pushing through the layers of skin.
Another possible risk that women with breast implants may face is pregnancy and breastfeeding. Despite many women with breast implant having successfully breastfed their babies, it is unknown whether there is an increased risk in nursing for women with breast implants or if the children of women with breast implants are more likely to have health problems. There is a lack of study with regards to absolute safety of breast implants in relation to infertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Last but not least, calcification. There is the possibility of calcium deposits forming in scar tissue surrounding the implant which may then cause pain, firmness and turn up in mammography. These deposits, however, must be determined to be different from calcium deposits that are a result of breast cancer. For this to be done, additional surgery is necessary to remove and examine these deposits