Dr. Jeffrey Popp at Popp Cosmetic Surgery PC in Omaha gives an introduction to breast augmentation including what it is and how it works.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Dr. Jeff Popp explained, “breast augmentation is taking a small or deformed breast and enhancing it, adding to it.”
At Popp Cosmetic Surgery, the focus is cosmetic breast enhancement rather than medical reconstruction (such as after a woman has had a mastectomy). With cosmetic surgery, you’re taking something considered normal by most people’s standards and changing it or enhancing it.
Why Have a Breast Augmentation Procedure?
Those who come in for a breast augmentation procedure are largely seeking a larger cup size because they feel they’re underdeveloped. These concerns often crop up for women when they feel uncomfortable in certain clothing, such as bathing suits.
“Women will say they have to get the bottoms for the suit in the women’s section while they have to shop the teen section for the tops. These women feel their bodies are out of proportion or unbalanced,” said Popp.
And while the physical result of these procedures is often larger breasts, Popp said the psychological result is almost always an increase in a woman’s sense of confidence.
The first thing Dr. Popp does is share the pros and cons of the different types of implants. He said he spends an average of an hour with each patient seeking breast implants.
Saline and Silicone are the Two Main Types of Implants
So, what’s the difference? According to Dr. Popp, saline implants are more adjustable while silicone implants feel more natural.
“We don’t suggest which implant a woman should get but we do give guidance in certain situations. In some cases, a woman may be a better candidate for one or the other. I don’t care which implant they choose but before they do, they need to know the good, the bad and the ugly” he said.
Dr. Popp explained a saline implant feels like a sack of salt water. The silicone implants have more liquid in them. He described them as a soft solid.
The shell around each implant, both silicone and saline, is made of silicone rubber, like a balloon.
Which Type of Breast Implant is Best for Me?
“Adjustability is one consideration. One breast is usually smaller than the other. With saline implants, we can adjust the volume of the implant during surgery. Silicone implants come from the factory filled and sealed. We can’t add or subtract from a silicone implant,” explained Dr. Popp.
But if you’re going for the more natural feel, silicone implants may be your best bet. Dr. Popp said silicone implants have a feel that’s more akin to actual breast tissues.
He acknowledges silicone has had a negative history attached to it. They were actually taken off the market in 1992 when some women started exhibiting some weird medial issues. The FDA researched these issues, did studies with large groups of women that had these type of implants and ultimately ended up bringing the implants back to the market in 2006.
“In 2018 we started seeing a reemergence of these issues. According to recent studies, women who have silicone implants are eight times more likely to have certain autoimmune diseases than women without implants or with saline implants,” said Dr. Popp.
He went on to explain that when the FDA brought them back to market, they recommended women who have these types of implants get an MRI every two years so they would know if their implants had leaked, ruptured or deflated.
A Word About Leaks
If leaks are a particular concern, saline implants are for you. Dr. Popp said with saline implants, you will know right away if there are leaks because the implants will deflate. The good news is your body can easily absorb the saline.
Unfortunately, when silicone leaks, the body cannot absorb or excrete it.
How Long Will I Be in Pain?
Recovery for both types of breast implants is the same. Everyone is dealing with four main issues after the procedure:
- Bruising – lasts about 2-3 weeks
- Swelling – lasts about 6-8 weeks
- Scarring – takes about a year to look its best
- Pain – about three weeks of discomfort but you’re not bedridden
Dr. Popp wants everyone to remember that while breast implants can last awhile, they are not going to last forever, “It’s like buying a new set of tires for your car. If you drive on them long enough, you’re going to wear them out. The weak point of an implant is the shell itself. As the body moves and shifts, there are shearing forces on it and eventually it will develop a hole and deflate.”
The good news is the average lifespan of implants is 10-15 years and Dr. Popp said they are pretty darn safe.
Need them gone before that? Unlike any other cosmetic procedure, breast implants are reversible. You can take them out if you decide you don’t want them.
Interested in learning more about breast augmentation? Call Dr. Popp at (402) 391-4558 to schedule your appointment.