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It is not uncommon for me to consult with women who have become frustrated and confused with their choice of breast implants, especially after they've met with multiple plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, or other cities throughout Southern California.

As a plastic surgeon who consults who consults women regarding breast augmentation from all of Southern California, and especially from Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, I have decided to try to answer their most pertinent questions about breast implants in this plastic surgery educational article.

Breast augmentation has become, if not the most popular, at least one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures sought in Beverly Hills. In fact, the popularity of breast implant surgery has moved beyond Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Southern California, to the rest of the United States. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), in 2003 nearly 255,000 women in the United States underwent breast augmentation; nearly twice the number performed in 1998.

Breast Augmentation or enlargement is a way of achieving a more proportional figure. Many of my patients say that before breast augmentation their clothes did not fit and hang well on them. They could not fill out their tops. Either their tops fit too loose on them, or their bottoms were too tight. Others lose breast volume after pregnancy. Their breast may have also sagged. They look at breast augmentation as a way of regaining their youthful figure.

Breast Augmentation has evolved through out the years. Breast implants have changed and now there is a variety available. The following will give you some insight into breast augmentation, your choices, and what to expect. You should know that this article is only an introduction and you should discuss this procedure with your surgeon in detail before embarking on breast augmentation.

Use of Silicone Breast Implants in Southern California - Beverly Hills & Los Angeles.

Cohesive Gel Silicone Breast ImplantThe November 17th 2006 Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the use of Mentor and Allergan (Inamed Corporation) silicone breast implants in the United States has raised many questions among women in Southern California, especially those in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.

Prospective Los Angeles breast augmentation patients want to know if they can now receive silicone gel-filled breast implants, and if so, what types of silicone breast implants are available? And what are the potential adverse effects or concerns?

Candidates for Silicone Breast Implants

. Only women of 22 years of age and older can have silicone breast implants for breast augmentation or enlargement.
. Women of all ages can now qualify to have silicone implants for breast reconstruction.

You should also know that silicone gel-filled breast implants have not been clinically tested on women with:

  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus or scleroderma
  • Conditions that could interfere with wound healing and blood clotting
  • A weakened immune system (such as women receiving immunosuppressive therapy)
  • Reduced blood supply to the breast tissue
  • Radiation to the breast following implantation
  • Clinical diagnosis of depression or other mental health disorders, including body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders (Please discuss any history of mental health disorders prior to surgery

What are saline breast implants used for?

Saline breast implants are medical prostheses, which are used by cosmetic plastic surgeons for breast augmentation, enlargement, or reconstruction. The use of breast implants to increase breast size and to improve its shape is very common, not only in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, but also throughout California and the rest of the United States. Aside from their use for enlargement of breast size, breast implants are also used to correct congenital or acquired breast deformities, such as tubular breasts, Poland's Syndrome, breast asymmetry, breast ptosis or sagging, and finally for breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery.

At what age do women get breast implants ?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the average age of women who undergo breast augmentation with implants is between 19 to 34. Their reason for choosing breast implants is either because their breasts never matured to a full size during adolescence, or they lost their breast volume after pregnancy, or weight loss.

What are saline breast implants made of?

The saline breast implants most commonly used in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles are manufactured by Mentor or Inamed/ Allergan Corporations. These breast implants are considered FDA-regulated medical prostheses, which are made of a silicone shell and filled with a sterile saline (saltwater) solution by the plastic surgeon after insertion into the breast

Difference between smooth and textured breast implants

Textured breast implants are made from the same material as smooth implants, with the exception that they have a rough surface. Scientific studies in plastic surgery medical literature have demonstrated that textured implants are less likely to get hard. This is caused by formation of a thick scar capsule. The disadvantage of textured implants is that they might be more palpable and may cause more rippling (wrinkles).

This means that you might be able to see and feel the boundaries and irregularities of a textured implant more than that of a smooth implant. Because submuscular placement of implants reduces the risk of capsular contracture of smooth implants to nearly that of the textured implants, I often use smooth implants in the submuscular pocket in order to minimize the risks of capsular contraction as well as rippling. In patients who have had a history of capsular contracture, I would instead use textured implants in the submuscular pocket.

Difference between round and anatomic ("teardrop") implants

Anatomic implants are usually narrower and longer. Their projection peaks not at the center of the implant, but towards the bottom of the implant. Esthetically speaking, a woman who has had children, breastfed, or has lost breast fullness in the superior aspect of her breasts would benefit from a round implant that compensates for this loss of fullness superiorly. On the other hand, a very thin woman who does not have sagging breasts will have less superior breast fullness with a teardrop implant. In addition, anatomic implants are more challenging to place, and run the risk of turning onto their sides (which will make one of your breasts look like a horizontal loaf of bread). MRI radiographic comparisons of round and teardrop implants in women that are standing do not demonstrate any significant difference between their shape and appearances.

Dr. S. Sean Younai
is a Board Certified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, who practices in Encino, Los Angeles, Southern California.
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