Knowledge is power, especially when making pre-operative decisions with your doctor. Knowing the differences between the various breast implant options will help you and your doctor make the right implant decisions for you.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a silicone implant is made of a silicone outer shell that is filled with a silicone gel.
Silicone is made from silica, one of the most common substances in the world. Examples of silica include quarts and beach sand. In addition to breast implants, silicone has been used for other medical devices like replacement heart valves.
The silicone breast implant shells come in two varieties: textured and smooth. The textured shell implants are made to stay in one place and with one orientation. Smooth implants are made to move with the pocket they rest in.
The size of a breast implant does not correspond with traditional bra cup measurements. Breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters, also known as cc’s. This refers to the volume of the breast implant, therefore the larger the implant the higher the cc count will be.
Breast implants come in two shapes: round and shaped. The shaped implants were introduced to the market to better simulate the natural contour of a woman’s breast.
The FDA has approved silicone implants for the following situations:
There are three companies who have been approved by the FDA to sell silicone implants: Allergan, Mentor, and Sientra.
The first two companies, Allergan and Mentor, have had silicone implants on the market since 2006, whereas Sientra received FDA approval in the beginning of 2012.
Be sure to discuss what you hope to gain from undergoing breast surgery. Your doctor will know which options will best suit your situation and goals.
Additional Sources: BreastImplantSafety.org and ASAPS
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