Wednesday, December 29, 2010

High Profile versus Moderate Profile Breast Implants: How Does It Affect Breast Projection After Breast Augmentation?

High Profile vs. Moderate Profile Breast Implants:  How Does it Affect Breast Projection?

The majority of breast implants used in cosmetic surgery have a round base.  When one views the one of the breast implants from the side, the implant would have a certain height, which is called “projection.”   Thus, when the breast implant is placed underneath or over the chest wall muscles, that height would project out.  Some women who want to undergo a breast augmentation often want their breast to have more projection after the breast implant is placed. 
There are two ways to have more projection for breast augmentation.  The first way is to add volume into the implant, which can be done in a saline implant.  The more saline is injected into the implant, the more projection the breast will have after the breast augmentation procedure.  One should note that the volume that can be injected into the saline implant is limited.  Moreover, this cannot be done in a silicone gel implant since that particular breast implant has a fixed volume of silicone.
The other way of having more projection is to use a breast implant that has a smaller diameter.   If one would imagine a balloon with a fixed volume of fluid, and then press the balloon’s base and make the diameter smaller, the more projection the balloon will have.   This is the difference between a high profile versus a moderate profile breast implant.  The high profile implant has a smaller base diameter, and thus would have a higher projection than the moderate profile breast implant. 
Are there any downsides (complications) of having a high profile breast implant?
There are potential consequences when one receives a high profile or even an extra-high profile breast implant.   Potential deformities may occur that may be difficult to correct and possibly uncorrectable.  The weight and pressure of a high or extra-high profile breast implant may likely cause stretching and thinning of the breast.  This potential consequence can be disastrous and may cause some problems, such as problems with breast sensation, inability to lactate (breast feed),  visible traction rippling (breast implant rippling seen underneath the skin), and chest wall deformities (ribs and chest muscles getting deformed.)
Being an educated patient is very important prior to having any procedure done.  Thus, it is very important for one to ask one of your Houston cosmetic surgeons for these potential complications.

Tebbets, J & S. Teitelbaum. High and Extra High Projection Breast Implants: Potential Consequences for Patients. Plastic Reconstructive Surgery. Dec 2010.126:2150

Friday, December 24, 2010

Breast Augmentation - Woodlands and Houston, Texas

Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants) Articles

These articles were written to educate patients who are interested in having a breast implant  procedure ("boob job" in layman's term ).  Making an informed decision about your surgery is a critical aspect of being happy and satisfied with the results of your breast augmentation.   No article can substitute the valuable information you will receive during your consultation with your plastic surgeon. I recommend asking one of your Houston plastic surgeons for any concerns or questions about your procedure or breast implant preference during your surgical decision-making process.

Silicone Gel Breast Implants:  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Please click the article for further reading.

Emmanuel De La Cruz MD

"To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail."
~ Georgio Armani

Friday, December 17, 2010

Top 5 Things to Know Before Getting a Breast Implant

TOP 5 Things to Know Before Getting a Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation (breast enlargement) is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Most patients who undergo a breast augmentation are very satisfied with their results. However, being an informed patient is critical prior to having any surgery. The following facts are important information that all patients should know before having a breast augmentation.
(Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons & Studio Harcourt Paris)

1)Implant lifespan:  Like any other medical device, breast implants can not be guaranteed to last an entire lifetime. Any patient who undergoes breast augmentation should know that at some point in their life, the implants will most likely need to be replaced. This would require further surgery.
 2)Need for further surgery:  A recent clinical study had shown that up to 25% of women who had a breast implant may need further surgery within 5 years of the initial surgery.  Another study showed that about 1 in 8 women who received breast implants for augmentation needed another surgery within 5 years.  One should note that the surgical revision rate among different studies, however, varies which ranges from 8% to 25%. 

The need for revision breast augmentation may be due to several reasons.  The most common reason according to a recent study at UCLA was malposition (62%) followed by capsular contracture (hardening of the implant due to surrounding tissues.)  However, a different study showed that the most common indication for revision breast surgery was patient desire for implant size change followed by capsular contracture.  Other reasons for revision breast augmentation include: drooping of the breast, change in breast shape or volume from aging or pregnancy, implant rupture (0.5% at 3 years), and unwanted implant movement.  Regardless of the difference of results from clinical studies, most women with breast implants will most likely need to have further surgery at some point during their lives.
3)MRI and Implant Rupture:  MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is the study of choice for women with silicone gel breast implants and a history of cancer.  The US Food & Drug Administration recommended regular MRI screening for silicone implant rupture three (3) years after a silicone gel breast augmentation.  The FDA also recommended to repeat the MRI every 2 years subsequent to the initial MRI of the breast.  The evidence for this, however, is lacking.  It is unclear whether the benefits of obtaining an MRI outweigh the risks and potential costs for the patient.  I recommend a shared medical decision making with your plastic surgeon regarding this issue.
4)Breast feeding: Although the ability to breast feed is not guaranteed whether one would have breast augmentation or not, the ability to breast feed may be affected depending on the surgical technique used for breast augmentation . The periareolar incision (nipple approach) may disturb the milk/lactiferous ducts of the breast which may lead to problems with breast feeding.  You should express your concern to your plastic surgeon prior to any breast surgery if you have plans of breast feeding in the future.
5)Alteration of Nipple and Breast Sensation:  The feeling in your nipple and breast may change following breast implant surgery.  The sensation may increase or decrease after a breast implant is placed.  This can range from intense sensitivity or pain, to no feeling at all.  Note that these changes may be temporary or permanent, and may affect ones ability to nurse a baby as well as your sexual response.

Making an informed decision about your surgery is a critical aspect of being happy and satisfied with the results of your breast augmentation.   No article can substitute the valuable information you will receive during your consultation with your plastic surgeon.  I recommend asking one of your Houston plastic surgeons any questions or concerns regarding your surgery prior to undergoing any procedure.

Emmanuel De La Cruz M.D.
The Woodlands Plastic Surgeon


Please take the poll after reading this blog article.  Thank you.

Silicone Gel Breast Implant or Saline Breast Implant?