ABOUT BREAST IMPLANTS

Round. Anatomical. Cohesive gel. Brazilians. Silicone. Saline.

Confused? Find out which implants are best for your body.

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Dr Sharp uses silicone gel breast implants in most cases, except in the rare circumstances whereby saline implant are required. The modern, new-generation silicone breast implants Dr Sharp uses are made in the USA, and have evolved to a very high standard, offering a wide range of profile options, providing a more natural appearance and feel - along with a consistent safety record, and manufacturer’s lifetime replacement warranty.

Your implant choice is one of the most important factors in determining your end result. Dr Sharp will assist you in making the right selection for your body shape.

It’s important to remember that just because a friend with the same pre-augmentation cup size as you had a certain implant shape or size, that it’s also the right one for you. The breast breast implant for you should be determined after a discussion with your surgeon about your desired result, examination and measurement of your chest.

 

Factors to consider include:

  • saline or silicone
  • round or anatomical
  • the implant profile
  • size and volume
  • textured or smooth

Silicone or saline?

Saline breast implants contain sterile salt water, similar to the fluid that makes up most of the human body. They can have a textured or smooth - and come in moderate, moderate plus and high profiles. If the implant shell leaks, a saline implant will deflate and the salt water will be absorbed and expelled by the body. They are less frequently used in modern plastic surgery, as advancements in silicone implants provide more options for most patients.

Silicone breast implants are filled with sterile silicone gel. The gel is soft and created to mimic natural breast tissue, albeit firmer. If a silicone implant leaks, the form stable cohesive gel (also known as ‘gummy bear’) implants Dr Sharp uses will remain within the implant shell; it will not collapse. The consistency is often described as being somewhat like turkish delight jelly.

silicone or saline breast implants?

Smooth or textured breast implants?

Textured implants are predominantly used by Dr Sharp as they are associated with a reduced capsular contracture risk and the textured surface is intended to cause the breast tissue to adhere to the implant and prevent it from moving or rotating.

Breast implant size

During your consultation with Dr Sharp, you will try on implant ‘sizers’ to provide an indication of the best implant size for your body.

Dr Sharp advocates a natural-looking approach to breast augmentation surgery that takes into consideration a woman’s frame to achieve a beautifully enhanced, balanced outcome. The human eye sees beauty in proportion; rather than distorting or exaggerating the body, ethical cosmetic surgery aims to restore balance and harmony, producing realistic results. Optimal results are obtained when the body is in proportion.

Breast augmentation surgery permanently changes the body; even if you have them removed in the future, there will be excess skin, scaring and potential complications to consider. Excessively large breast implants can cause a number of complications and functional issues:

  • back and neck pain
  • excessive pressure on the inframammary fold, causing it to ‘bottom out’ - whereby the implant protrudes through the internal inframammary fold that is meant to be supporting it
  • an overall ‘heavier’ look in the upper body that can result in the patient looking as though they’ve gained weight
  • overly stretched skin which may need revisional surgery if the implants are downsized due to aforementioned issues in the future
  • difficulty finding clothes that fit nicely across your chest

Patients seeking an excessively large and intentionally disproportionate look from their augmentation surgery often experience costly complications and high levels of dissatisfaction. Dr Sharp encourages his patients to consider these factors before undertaking augmentation surgery.

anatomical or round breast implants better?

Round or teardrop?

The best implant shape for you will depend upon all those individual factors that make your breasts - and body shape - unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all ideal; which is why the right implant choice is one of the most important factors that determines your end result, and should be made after lengthy consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon.

Round breast implants can make the breasts appear to sit higher, and with greater volume in the upper pole (above the nipple). Round implants are less likely to change the appearance of your breast if they rotate.

Anatomical breast implants are shaped rather than round. They have more projection in the lower pole (below the nipple) and are tapered towards the top.

Anatomical implants are often favoured by women wanting to obtain a natural-looking, gently sloping breast silhouette. If an anatomical, or ‘teardrop’ implants rotates, it may lead to an unusual appearance of the breasts.

How do I know if my implant is leaking or ruptured?

If your doctor believes you may have a leaking or ruptured implant, they will refer you for an ultrasound. While ultrasounds are not conclusive ways of telling if you have a leak in your implant, they can provide a helpful indication, and further tests or surgery may be organised from there, in consultation with your surgeon. If you are seeing Dr Sharp regarding a potentially ruptured implant, it is advisable to visit your General Practitioner to obtain a referral and have an ultrasound organised prior to seeing him, so the results can be discussed and your options discussed in context with ultrasound’s results during your consultation.

Implant rupture is one of the most common breast augmentation complications, and while it requires attention, it does not usually mean you have to urgently have the implant removed - so while it’s advisable to book a consultation promptly, it is not a medical emergency that requires urgent surgery.

Which breast implants does Dr Sharp use - and why?

Regulations prevent surgeons from publicly naming the brand of implants used, however this information can be provided to you in clinic during your consultation, with a patient eduction pack featuring extensive information about the implants given to you to take home. Dr Sharp uses a range of implant types, but predominantly chooses a specific brand of latest-generation silicone implants for his patients, which are manufactured in the USA and have had a safe track record for over 20 years.

He has chosen this implant brand for its high quality of manufacturing, its safety history, range of sizes and profiles; and also because it uniquely offers a lifetime replacement warranty.

Capsular contracture and rupture are two of the most common breast augmentation complications, and require the breast implants to be removed - and if the patient wishes, replaced. If your original implants were not covered by a warranty, or if you do not have private health insurance that covers such complications, the expense of a second procedure can be close to that of the original augmentation. The warranty that comes with the implants Dr Sharp uses means that if his patients experience capsular contracture or rupture, the cost of replacing the implants is covered, and a portion of the rest of the out of pocket fees for the surgery are also reimbursed by the implant manufacturer.

Does Dr Sharp participate in the Australian Breast Device Registry?

Yes, all breast implants used by Dr Sharp are registered with the Australian Breast Device Registry, so our patients can always access specific information regarding their implants. We also retain a copy of the implant identification label, which contains the manufacturer’s details and serial / batch codes for future reference if required.

What is BIA-ALCL?

BIA-ALCL (breast implant associated anapaestic large cell lymphoma) is a rare type of lymphoma that develops adjacent to breast implants. It usually presents as swelling of the breast or a lump in the breast or armpit, most commonly between 3 to 14 years after the implants are placed. The risk is believed to be around 1 in every 5000 women who have breast implants.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has advised that of approximately 50 cases reported in Australia, most were cured by removal of the implant. Dr Sharp performs breast augmentation surgery in accredited hospital facilities and upholds the highest standards of infection control, to reduce the risk of bacterial biofilm contamination associated with the disease. He has also committed to the Macquarie University’s 14 Point Plan; created to reduced the risks of breast implant infection - and subsequently, BIA-ALCL.

Read the most up to date information about BIA-ALCL in our article here.

How safe are silicone breast implants?

Silicone implants have changed over the decades and the modern ‘new generation’ implants Dr Sharp uses are safer than ever, with reduced health risks - while maintaining a realistic and natural looking result.

Silicone is derived from silicon; a naturally occurring element found in sand, crystals and quartz. It’s also found in many common household items such as polishes, cows milk, moisturising creams, suntan lotions, deodorant, soap and chewing gum.

The amount of silicone released from a breast implant is very minimal; and some research shows the amount is less than what is absorbed from daily consumer products containing silicone. When modern implants ‘rupture’, the cohesive gel inside does not leak or spill into the body, rather it usually stays contained within the implant shell.

It is safe to breastfeed after the placement of silicone implants.

To reduce the risks of complication following breast implant surgery, patients must abstain from smoking in the weeks prior to surgery, and for at least 6 weeks following. Smoking constricts the body’s blood vessels and reduces blood supply to the surgical site; resulting in a reduced ability to heal, and increasing the risk of infection. Infection can require the implants to be completely removed for a period of time, as well as a lengthy period of hospitalisation.

Dr Sharp is committed to providing his patients with objective clinical information about breast implant safety, ensuring they make an informed decision about the safety and risks of augmentation surgery.

How long to breast implants last?

Breast implants last for a very long time, but not forever; chances are if you are having a breast augmentation in your 20’s, you will outlive your implants, and they will need to be replaced at some stage. The lifespan of breast implants differs from woman to woman, but most commonly spans 10-20 years.

The most frequent reason for implants to be removed and replaced is that women wish to change them for a different shape, size or position. Medically-required replacements are usually for complications such as capsular contracture, infection or migration of the implant.

Is there a minimum age for breast implant surgery?

Cosmetic surgery - that is, aesthetic surgery that is not medically required - can only be performed on patients who are over the age of 18. Augmentation surgery can only be performed for females under the age of 18 if there is congenital abnormalities such as tuberous breasts, severe breast asymmetry or following the removal of breast tissue

Do implants impact mammogram screening?

Breast implants may interfere with your mammogram results. It can make the mammography more difficult to perform, and more uncomfortable for the patient. For these factors, along with the very small risk of implant rupture during mammography, Dr Sharp recommends ultrasound for breast screening after breast augmentation. It is very important to discuss any family history of breast cancer with Dr Sharp during your pre-operative consultations.