Dr. Hochstein has been on the Silicone Study for the past 7 years. The Study had many restrictions and patients had to be closely monitored. Since the approval from the FDA in 2007 we have seen a tremendous increase in our office for the demand of silicone. FDA determined that there was adequate data to support Mentor’s implants as safe and effective.
Silicone is actually found in many household products such as sun tan lotions, hand lotions, soaps, processed foods and chewing gum! Silicone is derived from Silicon a semi-metallic or metal like element which in nature combines with oxygen to form silicon dioxide, or Silica. Silica is the most common substance in the Earth. Heating Silica with carbon at a high temperature produces silicone.
Many questions have been asked by our patients and this blog entry is an attempt o address a few of them.
Let’s talk about safety. One very frequent question asked is “Do implants influence the occurrence of breast cancer?” All the reports have indicated that patients with breast implants are not at a higher risk than those without the silicone implants for developing breast cancer. However more x-ray views will be necessary when doing routine mammograms for women with breast implants.
It is important to realize that the shells of both silicone and saline implants are made with silicone. So if you are opting for saline thinking you are actually escaping silicone, do consider that the shells will still be made of the same material.
The beauty of the new silicone implant is that they are solid all the way through which means you will not have to worry about leakage. What this means is that if you cut it in half one implant you would see the implant staying together pretty much like jello instead of spreading out like liquid. If your implants would ever implode due to trauma caused by immense impact, the implant could rupture, causing breakage to the shell, however the memory gel fill will always stay intact. This is why they are called “memory gels” .
When a saline implant deflates, its deflation is visible and usually noticed either right away or within a few weeks, letting you know there is a problem. With silicone, the deflation can only be detected with an MRI.
The good news is that since 1995 their shells have had a tremendous upgrade. They are now three times thicker and they can no longer leak. They also carry a lifetime warranty which guarantees replacement.
All this aside, the reason why they have become so popular is because of their natural shape and feel! If you happen to be someone who was blessed with absolute no breast tissue, and had saline implants you were guaranteed to encounter rippling. Not only that but you may have experienced that ever not so attractive round “balloony” shape! Also people complained about feeling the water movement and a cold sensation due to their saline implants. Some even worse, have reported they could hear the water jiggling. These saline implants did not produce a natural feel and look unless you had a B or bigger cup to begin with. This is due to the fact that when the implants go under the muscle and breast tissue all these problems were minimized.
With the silicone implants these side effects are diminished due to the fact that it is a solid, breast like substance. Most people have reported that it feels in every way just like a natural breast.
I can speak from my own experience. I had saline implants for 10 years and they never felt like my own. I was always aware the implants were there. As soon as I got silicone, this all has changed. They immediately felt like a part of me. I no longer felt like two water balloons logged into my chests. I was one of the unfortunate ones that started out with no breast tissue. The other amazing thing was the versatility in sizes and shapes. With my salines I had a very large gap and they stood out from my chest cavity. Since changing to silicone, I was able to go to a smaller size implant that was wider in dimension, so I have less projection and more cleavage. YEAH!
This becomes very important because women are shaped differently. A lot of women come into the office thinking that their height is the biggest factor into picking out their implants although this is very important, your chest cavity and your nipple placement play a major factor. For instance, if you have a wide chest cavity with wide nipple placement and your seeking cleavage you need to talk to your doctor about the dimensions you will need to achieve your goals. As an implant goes up in size it also goes up in dimension and projection. This can vary whether you are using low, medium and high profile.
Sometimes you will have to forgo one for the other. Example : If you happen to have a wide chest and you want small breasts you have to realize that you may not be able to get them close enough together to obtain cleavage (unless you are planning on moving your nipples as well). So talk to your doctor about alternatives when choosing the size and profile of your implants.
Michelle Heavens and Dr. Hochstein