enlargement, reduction, lift and reconstruction
The following is general information on breast implants.
It is not medical advice nor was it authored by a medical professional.
This information may be outdated: visit www.FDA.gov for current news.
(Information provided by www.FDA.gov)
Breast implants are medical devices that are implanted under the breast tissue or under the chest muscle to increase breast size (augmentation) or to rebuild breast tissue after mastectomy or other damage to the breast (reconstruction). They are also used in revision surgeries, which correct or improve the result of an original surgery.
There are two types of breast implants approved for sale in the United States: saline-filled and silicone gel-filled. Both types have a silicone outer shell. They vary in size, shell thickness, and shape (contour).
Breast Augmemtation / Mammoplasty / Mammaplasty
These terms refer to reshaping of the breasts.
This type of breast surgery may be to enlarge small breasts, to reduce large breasts, to lift sagging breasts or to reconstruct a breast or breasts after the removal of a tumor.
Learn more about breast reconstruction surgery.
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon about Breast Augmentation
The following list of questions may help you to remind you of topics to discuss
with your surgeon. You may have additional questions as well.
- What are the risks and complications associated with having breast implants?
- How many additional operations of my implanted breast(s) can I expect over
- How will my breasts look if I choose to have the implants removed without
- What shape, size, surface texturing, incision site, and placement site is
recommended for me?
- How will my ability to breast feed be affected?
- How can I expect my implanted breasts to look over time?
- How can I expect my implanted breasts to look after pregnancy? After breastfeeding?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my
- What alternate procedures or products are available if I choose not to have
- Do you have before and after photos I can look at for each procedure and
what results are reasonable for me?
Summary of Safety Information:
Breast implants are not lifetime devices. The longer a woman has implants, the more likely it is that she will need to have surgery to remove them.
The most frequent complications and adverse outcomes experienced by breast implant patients include capsular contracture, reoperation, and implant removal (with or without replacement). Other common complications include implant rupture, wrinkling, asymmetry, scarring, pain, and infection. In addition, women with breast implants may have a very low but increased likelihood of being diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
MRI continues to be the most effective method of detecting silent rupture of silicone gel-filled breast implants. If you have silicone gel-filled breast implants, the FDA recommends that you receive MRI screening for silent rupture 3 years after receiving your implant and every 2 years after that.
There is no apparent association between silicone gel-filled breast implants and connective tissue disease, breast cancer, or reproductive problems. However, in order to rule out these and other rare complications, studies would need to be much larger and longer than those conducted so far.
In June 2011, the FDA issued an Update on the Safety of Silicone Gel-Filled Breast Implants. This update included preliminary results of the studies required by the manufacturers at the time of approval as well as a review of other available scientific data.
The Summary of Safety and Effectiveness details safety information known at the time of FDA approval. As the FDA learns of new safety information, it requires companies to update their product labeling. The most current safety information about silicone gel-filled breast implants can be found in the labeling.
For more information about the safety of silicone gel-filled breast implants:
Type in "breast implants".
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