When compared to the results achieved with a silicone-gel breast implant, the saline implant can yield acceptable results, of increased breast-size, smoother hemisphere-contour, and realistic texture; yet, it is likelier to cause cosmetic problems, such as the rippling and the wrinkling of the breast-envelope skin, accelerated lower breast pole stretch, and technical problems, such as the presence of the implant being noticeable to the eye and to the touch. The occurrence of such cosmetic problems is likelier in the case of the woman with very little breast tissue, and in the case of the woman who requires post-mastectomy breast reconstruction; thus, the silicone-gel implant is the technically superior prosthetic device for breast augmentation, and for breast reconstruction. In the case of the woman with much breast tissue, for whom sub-muscular emplacement is the recommended surgical approach, saline breast implants can produce an aesthetic result much like that afforded by silicone breast implants, albeit with greater implant palpability.
The first step in the breast implant surgery process is a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing various types of breast surgery. During this meeting, the surgeon will perform an examination of your breast tissue, discuss your goals for surgery and tell you what you need to know about breast implants. Based on his or her examination, the surgeon will determine whether you are a candidate for surgery.
Photographs. Someone from your doctor's office will take photographs of your nose from different angles. Your surgeon may use computer software to manipulate the photos to show you what kinds of results are possible. Your doctor will use these photos for before-and-after assessments, reference during surgery and long-term reviews. Most importantly, the photos permit a specific discussion about the goals of surgery.
Women with ruptured silicone gel implants also need to factor in downtime when asking how much do breast implants cost. Whether you take time off work, hire a babysitter for your kids, or make other accommodations while you recover from surgery, you need to factor in these costs. Dr. Jane Rowley, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Lubbock, Texas, explains the difference between removal of silicone gel implants and the IDEAL IMPLANT, “there’s a big difference between removing a ruptured IDEAL IMPLANT and a ruptured silicone gel implant. A ruptured IDEAL IMPLANT can be removed easily with a local anesthetic. A silicone gel implant, if they’re not ruptured, can come out that easy. But if they are ruptured, most of the time its stuck, and it bleeds, and you have to put drains in. So it’s not an easy recovery, it’s not an easy surgery. With an IDEAL IMPLANT I can almost guarantee them ahead of time, if your implant is leaking it will be easy to remove and replace, you will be back to work in a day or two at the most. With a silicone gel implant I’ll say, ‘I don’t know what your recovery is going to be, it might come out easily, it might not come out easily. You might need to take week off work, you might have to take two days off work.’”
Manufacturer’s warranty programs can mitigate some of the costs of treating complications. But, the warranty payment is only available if a rupture is detected. Some surgeons fail to inform their patients of the need for periodic MRIs, or downplay the FDA recommendation in order to make a sale. “Many women don’t know about the maintenance costs and potential expenses of silicone gel implants,” reports Dr. Ellen Mahony, board-certified plastic surgeon in Westport, CT. “Because rupture with a silicone gel implant is ‘silent,’ it can go undetected for an extended period, often not becoming obvious until the process of capsular contraction has begun.” Capsular contraction leads to a more complex surgery. That means added surgical costs which your warranty may not cover.