Breast Implant “Profiles”…what does it all mean

Breast implant profilesBreast Augmentation is the most requested cosmetic surgery in the U.S. every year and has been for many years running. As its popularity continues to increase, the variety of implants has increased as well. I’d like to take a minute to go over the different Profile options as this is confusing for many patients.

For decades implants came  “one size fits all’ however now there are many profile options: Ultra High, High, Moderate, and Low ª. What the ‘profile’ of the implant refers to is its’ width and its’ height or projection.

For example, if you have two implants that are both filled with 350cc, the high profile won’t be as wide as a moderate profile implant, but it will project out more. The higher the profile in the order the more narrow the implant and the more it projects. What this allows for is the more narrow breasted woman to get more volume or the appearance of more volume.

Other than that, there is no difference in the implants at all. They are made the same way, have the same warranty, and the cost is the same. It just allows us to best suit the needs of our patients who all come in different shapes and sizes.

Lee E Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MedSpa

ª Mentor, Allergan and Sientra are the three manufacturers of implants and they each have their own profile nomenclature.

If I get Pregnant and Breastfeed, what happens to my Breast Implants?

pregnant womanGreat question with an easy answer…absolutely nothing.

When we place breast implants, the normal method is to place the implant behind the muscle. So what is done is that the breast and muscle are simply lifted forward and the implant slots in behind. So, in the event of a pregnancy or breast feeding the breast acts exactly as it would with or without an implant in place. And after the pregnancy and/or breast feeding, the breast tissue will change as it would with or without an implant.

The implants themselves are inert, man made devices, they do not change in response to the changes in the overlying breast when pregnancy occurs. So, they are unaffected.

What can change is the perkiness of the breasts. If the breasts get extremely large and the skin stretches it can lead to a drooping problem. But again, this is a breast problem, not an implant problem. Also, there is absolutely no evidence that having a breast implant in place, saline or silicone filled, affects the breast milk either.

Hope this helps to answer a fairly common question particularly among our younger implant patients.

Lee E Corbett, MD

Medical Director, Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MedSpa

 

I have Saline Breast Implants…How do I know if they’re leaking?

breast implantSaline Breast Implants were the only implant available in the US from 1992 through 1996 for breast augmentation. In my practice, I get a lot of patients with questions about needing to replace or exchange these implants. First let me say that you DO NOT have to exchange your implants just because they are of a certain age. If they’re not broken, don’t fix them.

Now, sometimes they do fail. The failure rate at 10 years is about 2.5%, so it’s low but it does occur. So how do you know? Well, you’ll literally get a “flat tire”. But how this shows itself varies based on why the implant failed. There are 2 points of failure for a saline implant. The first is if the fill valve fails, the second is a shell failure. The fill valve is a one way trap door valve that we plug into to fill the implant. If the valve becomes incompetent, what you will see is that the upper half of the implant loses its volume. The valve is right in the middle of the implant so all the water above this will leak out. The bottom half will stay filled. So basically, your fullness above nipple goes away. If the second problem occurs, the outer shell gets a hole in it, the implant tends to deflate more  readily and the entire implant will empty. Your breast will return to its pre augmented size. It’s typically not hard to detect for obvious reason.

The leaked saline will not harm you. It is nothing but saline IV fluid, the very same stuff we give patients who need an IV. So there is no danger to it.

So that’s the story on saline implants and leaking. If for whatever reason you were worried your implants were leaking, just look in the mirror. If they look the same as always, they aren’t leaking. If they do leak, no need to panic, they are warrantied for your lifetime and an exchange is a quick and easy procedure.

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa