Breast Implants

From ancient statues to modern paintings, the female form has always been considered a work of art. Curves play an integral role in defining the feminine figure. Breast size and shape can also influence a woman’s self image. For those individuals unhappy with their bustline, breast implants can offer several advantages. They can increase wardrobe choices, improve self confidence, and accentuate one’s shape. Dr. Thomas Lintner’s goal is to ensure that patients feel good in their own skin. Advanced Aesthetic Surgery’s Marietta and Woodstock locations now offer Atlanta residents two different options for breast augmentation: silicone breast implants and saline breast implants. Re-released for use in primary augmentation after years of exhaustive study by the FDA in November 2006, silicone breast implants continue to be a safe choice for breast augmentation. Our board-certified plastic surgeon will help you decide which implants best suit your needs.

Types of Breast Implants

The two types of implants available are silicone-shelled saline (salt water) filled or silicone gel filled. Each kind comes with advantages and disadvantages, and it is very important to understand the differences before making any decisions about which implant is for you. Both implants are considered extremely safe, and there is no medical evidence that either implant is responsible for causing any disease.

Saline Implants

Saline implants come unfilled and are supplied with salt water via a sterile technique once they are placed during an augmentation procedure. Advantages for saline filled implants are that they can be placed through a very small incision and they have a slightly lower incidence of capsular contracture. They do cost a little less than silicone gel filled implants and can be overfilled slightly to produce a more augmented look. Despite all of the medical information regarding the safety of silicone gel implants, if you are still hesitant about them, saline is a good option for augmentation.

Silicone Implants

Silicone gel implants were re-released by the FDA in November 2006. After several years of ongoing study, they have confirmed the safety of these implants. The advantages of silicone are that they feel much more natural and are less likely to ripple. The downside is that they cost slightly more than saline implants and have a marginally increased risk of hardening (capsular contracture). The FDA recommends an MRI of the breasts three years post-operatively, followed by MRIs every two years thereafter to identify any silent leaks. It is our recommendation that an MRI should be performed if you notice a problem or a change. We like to see our surgical patients annually at no additional charge to ensure they are diagnosed and treated quickly if any problems arise. These implants do come pre-filled and require a slightly larger incision. Dr. Lintner feels very strongly that gel implants create the most natural result and believes they are safe for use in patients and family members. However, our goal is to educate you and help you make the best decision for your body.

Silicone Breast Implants – FDA Approved for Safety

Silicone breast implants are one of the most heavily-tested products of the past two decades. Although they continued to be available for reconstruction patients, secondary augmentation, and for women born with genetically malformed breasts, silicone implants were banned for use in primary augmentation in 1992 because some reports claimed certain medical conditions, such as connective tissue disease, were caused by silicone implant leakage. However, after 14 years of extensive research and tests, those concerns were proven to be unfounded. Also during that time, silicone shell casings were strengthened to help prevent leaking. In November of 2006, the Federal Drug Administration confirmed that silicone breast implants are safe to use for breast augmentation.

In January 2011, the FDA released an advisory statement for women with breast implants. The FDA has not changed the status or availability of breast implants and has reaffirmed that the devices are safe and effective. We will continue to follow this story and provide more information as it comes to light.

FDA data shows no correlation between silicone breast implants and disease. Potential long-term complications include leakage and the hardening of the implant pocket; however, these conditions are rare. Dr. Thomas Lintner places such weight on patient safety that he asks patients to come back once a year, free of charge, for a thorough examination. If any problems are found during these free follow-up visits, they can be diagnosed and treated quickly.

Advantages of Silicone Breast Implants

For results that look and feel natural, Dr. Lintner strongly recommends silicone breast implants. The silicone material closely resembles breast tissue. Silicone is more viscous and ages the breast less than saline because it actually weighs less. In thinner women, rippling and implant palpability is less in silicone than in saline implants. Because silicone breast implants produce results that are so soft and realistic, they are the preferred choice for natural looking breast augmentation.

How Do I Choose a Breast Implant Size?

Breast size after augmentation is a function of the implant size plus the patient’s own breast volume. Breasts are sized by cups (A, B, C, D…), which can be very inaccurate and typically vary with different bra manufacturers. Rather, implants are sized by cc’s (cubic centimeters) or ml’s (milliliters). They begin at 150 cc’s and increase up to 800 cc’s; a size larger than 800 cc‘s would require a custom-made implant and possibly a head exam. Also, know that the ultimate breast size after augmentation depends on implant size and the volume of breast tissue you naturally possess. For example, a 300 cc implant can yield varying cup sizes on different women. There are several ways to determine the best size:

  • Height of the patient: Taller women can handle larger implants, while shorter women tend to look heavier with a large implant size.
  • Weight of the patient: Heavier women can contend with larger implants and, often, a bigger size is generally necessary, especially in patients requiring a breast lift. Thinner women usually don’t fair as well with a larger implant without the result appearing fake.
  • Chest width: The size of the implants should be proportional to your chest width to avoid the look of the breasts hanging over the sides of the chest.
  • Vertical chest height: Similarly, the vertical height of the chest should be considered to avoid the appearance of implants resting directly under the chin.
  • Self-sizing with implants: At your consult and again after you schedule surgery, you will be able to “try on” implants at your preoperative appointment to see how the implant size affects your overall appearance. Please bring a sports bra to help you visualize your desired size after surgery.

Once surgery has begun, the final sizing is performed. Temporary sizers are placed in the breast based on the patient’s and physician’s idea of an optimal size. Remember, it is normal to show up on the morning of surgery and still be unsure of the final size of implant we will choose with you. Patients worry most about size, but we will help make this one of the easiest choices you make throughout the breast augmentation process. Keep in mind that more women wish they had gone somewhat bigger six months after augmentation because they feel more comfortable with their new breasts. At your consult in our office, you spend most of your time with Dr. Lintner learning about this procedure and making sure breast augmentation at our practice is the right choice for you. We have a unique sizing system to help you visualize what size you may like after your meeting with Dr. Lintner.

At Your Breast Implant Consult

After a thorough explanation of the procedure, risks, benefits, recovery, incisions, and the pros and cons of each type of implant, Dr. Lintner will answer all your questions and carefully examine your preferences and goals. He will help you choose the most appropriate implant material, incision type, and breast size. With his guidance, the decision-making process will be easy. As for recovery from this procedure, most patients need approximately a week off of most jobs— more if you have a labor intensive job or do a lot of lifting. We ask that you take a month off going to the gym, house work, and anything repetitive, but do expect that you are up and around walking after surgery. Also, if you have small children at home, it may be nice if a Grandma can come help for a few days. Another helpful thing to do is enlist the help of your girlfriends with carpool…they’ll be happy to help and we bet you’ll even return the favor when it’s their turn! If you desire fuller, perkier breasts, or if you seek to reclaim the youthful figure you had before pregnancy, contact Advanced Aesthetic Surgery. If you have questions about silicone breast implants or breast augmentation, Dr. Lintner and his caring, attentive staff will be happy to answer them.

Contact Advanced Aesthetic Surgery

Please contact Advanced Aesthetic Surgery to learn more about silicone breast implants. Dr. Lintner has also prepared a breast augmentation document that includes information on both silicone and saline breast implants. View our plastic surgery photo gallery to see before and after photographs of Dr. Lintner’s patients.