You probably know a lot about breast augmentation already as it is the most popular plastic surgery out there. In 2018 more than 300,000 women got breast enlargement in the US alone. And Singapore is not an exception either. But while you might have read and known a lot about the surgery itself, there is still a lot you can read about what actually makes breasts larger – the breast implants.

You might be surprised but breast implants have quite the history. First used in the 60s and then slowly moving their way up in sales by the 90s more than a million women had the surgery. Back then surgeons used silicone or saline solution implants (we still use implants like this) but safety has improved by a thousand miles.

In this article, we’re going to talk about all the things you would want to know about breast implants in Singapore.

What is in Breast Implants?

So, let’s first give a brief definition of what breast implants are and what are they used for. As you can probably tell yourself the breast implant is a type of prosthesis mainly used to change the size or shape of breasts during plastic surgery. Breast implants can be used during breast reconstruction surgeries or to correct breasts with different sizes or for aesthetic reasons.

That being said, let’s move on to what exactly is in breast implants. The two main types of breast implants are made out of either a saline solution or silicone gel.

The saline solution breast implants are filled with sterile salt water. The outer shell of the implant is made out of silicone. They are a safe option for many because, in the case of implant leak, your body will just absorb the saltwater without any damage to your body.

The silicone breast implants are filled with silicone gel – as you can probably guess. They are also a safe option because even if the shell ruptures the silicone won’t move and many women prefer them over saline implants because they tend to feel more natural.

Breast Implants Subtypes

Besides the material used to fill breast implants, we can also divide implant subtypes based on their texture. Implants can be either smooth or textured.

Smooth implants have a soft outer shell and can move easily when you touch them. For some patients, however, that might be a downside because it means that the implants can look visible in certain positions.

Textured implants are slightly rougher when touching but due to their texture, they won’t move as much. There are some concerns over the connection between textured implants and cancer risk, however. You should talk to your plastic surgeon about it.

Gummy Bear Breast Implants

The gummy bear implants maintain their shape even in the case when the shell is broken. Compared to the traditional silicone breast implants, the gummy bear ones’ gel inside the implant is tick. Some patients prefer them because of this but they do require a longer incision and in the case of rotation – you might need additional surgery.

How are Breast Implants placed in the body?

Breast implants are placed into the breasts during a breast augmentation procedure or a breast reconstruction surgery. There are several ways to insert a breast implant depending on the patient’s preference and suggestions made by the plastic surgeons. Simply said, breast implant through nipple (periareolar incision) is a type of incision in which the surgeon makes a cut on the lower half of the areola.

The surgeon can also make an incision under the breast (inframammary incision), through the armpit (transaxillary) and through the naval area.

Breast Implant Surgery Recovery

If you undergo breast enhancement surgery, the recovery period might last for a couple of weeks. In those weeks you’d have to wear a special surgical bra that keeps your chest tight and you have to avoid any intensive sports. Your doctor will probably prescribe some pain relief medication as well.

After the surgery, you might feel swelling which will go away on its own after a couple of weeks.

Complications and Risks of Breast Implants

Even though breast enhancement is a plastic surgery procedure there are some complications and risks associated with the surgery and the breast implants themselves. Here are some of the signs of breast implant problems: some of the symptoms you might experience and that deserves medical attention are breast pain, loss of sensation in the nipple or breast or over sensitivity. There’s also the risk of scarring, bleeding, and infection too.

Further, there might be problems with the placement of the implant such as the breast implant moving towards armpit or rotating. You might need additional surgery to fix that.

Other potential risks

While breast implants can improve the quality of life for some people and they are generally safe, in recent years, scientific reports have noted some concerns over breast implants and cancer risk, as well as a condition called breast implant illness (BII).

BII is a condition that involves a wide range of symptoms including joint or muscle pain, fatigue, memory problems, digestive problems, and many others. It’s a condition that can occur with all types of breast implants – both silicone or saline, textured or smooth.

What’s tricky about BII is that symptoms might appear years after the surgery and it might be hard to detect because the symptoms are so wide that it takes a lot of time to determine. The good news is that the condition seems to be rare even though there are no official numbers of people experiencing it.

Can breast implants cause cysts?

There is no evidence to suggest that breast implants may cause cysts. There is some evidence that breast augmentation surgery using a method called fat grafting might cause oil cysts.

Can breast implants cause rib pain?

Rib pain is a common complaint following breast augmentation surgery. It’s caused by the pressure of the implant on the ribs. If you experience rib pain after breast enhancement, you’d want to talk to your surgeon because this can lead to inflammation of the cartilage on the ribs. They will give you advice on how to deal with it!

What does it mean when your breast implant hurts after a while?

Well, there is no one straight answer to that. And breast pain can be very unsettling considering that sometimes you might experience breast implant pain after 5 years or more even. One of the reasons might be that you’ve strained your muscles with exercise or even lots of coughing or the above mention inflammation of the ribs caused by the implant. Unfortunately, there might be other reasons as well – such as your body rejecting the implant or an infection. Other causes include seroma and hematoma too. You should call your doctor if you’re experiencing any unusual pain and let them know about your activities so they can determine the cause.

Breast Implants don’t last a lifetime

Unfortunately, breast implants do have an expiration. The lifetime of a breast implant varies a lot and we can’t tell exactly when you’ll need additional surgery or removal. In general, we have to say that the longer you have an implant, the chance of complications becomes greater. Some patients do prefer their implants completely removed due to complications or have additional surgeries to treat any complications they are experiencing.

If you have any concerns, talk to your surgeon who will determine the causes of your symptoms and suggest a suitable treatment.

What to expect after breast implant removal?

The recommendations for breast implant removal are similar to the ones you’d get with a breast augmentation surgery. In most cases, patients get to wear compression garments to keep their breasts in place. Your plastic surgeons will recommend that you avoid strenuous sports and activities and take some pain medications.

FAQ

Will I need Breast Implant MRI?

The US FDA does recommend that you get a regular MRI just to see that everything is okay with your breast implants. MRI is also suitable as early detection of breast cancers in women who have undergone breast augmentation.

Can I get breast implant reduction?

You can get a smaller sized implant. Be careful to choose a highly experienced surgeon because a second surgery will take more skill and preciseness to get the best results. If you decide to get a smaller implant, you might need to get a breast lift as well. That’s because when you reduce the size of your breasts they might get saggy.

How much are breast implants in Singapore?

The cost of breast implants in Singapore can vary depending on the brands of implants being used. The brands you can find most commonly in Singapore are Mentor, Motiva, and Natrelle. That being said, the price for the implants alone can be around 1700$ and for the breast augmentation surgery, it can go up to 20,000$. Usually, patients pay around 15,000$.

What’s the latest breast implant technology?

In recent years, there have been some advancements in breast implant technology. There are some implants that combine the natural sensation of a silicone implant with the safety of saline ones. The risk of implant rupture is minimal and even if it does rupture, your body would absorb the saline. The newer generation implants use a series of shells to hold the saline solution which creates the natural shape of the implant. Overall, patients are left feeling safe and satisfied.

Conclusion

Breast implants can truly change a person’s life – they can give you confidence and make you feel good about yourself. But with their many benefits, there are also a few things you need to consider and know about.

There’s so much information on the internet that you never know what to trust or what to read. That’s especially true for popular procedures such as breast augmentation – one Google search and you’ll see hundreds of thousands of articles about it. And while most patients know a lot about the surgery, a lot of them don’t much about the breast implants themselves. There are a lot of options when it comes to the shape, material, texture, and even brands you can find in Singapore. That’s why it’s important to do proper research and choose the one you deem safest.