Breast augmentation: no leaking or rupture

Modern medicine offers women titanium-coated breast implants

If a woman decides to enhance her breasts with silicone implants, she must bear in mind the fact that they may leak and lead to severe complications. Until recently it was considered that saline implants were the only alternative to silicone ones. They are relatively safe, but they make breasts look like bags of water.

Modern medicine is developing, new technologies appear very fast nowadays. Two other models of breast implants are to enter the market after the tests are finished. They will be titanium-coated or gel-filled implants. Specialists say, such implants are as safe as saline ones, and their cosmetic effect and comfort is equal to silicone ones. In addition, there are non-surgical ways of breast enhancement. They are rather efficient, albeit temporal. Japanese scientists suggest another variant: they make breasts look bigger as the stomach becomes smaller.

Silicone implants are in fact thick polymer capsules filled with liquid silicone. They first appeared in 1962 and still enjoy great popularity in plastic surgery. A million of them had been implanted by 1989. Silicone-filled implants are very comfortable for patients. They possess the same consistence and elasticity as the breast tissue and they look a lot better than others.

However, it became known later that silicone breasts could be rather detrimental to women's health. First and foremost, silicone implants may leak. Liquid silicone causes the inflammation of the surrounding tissue, which may eventually lead to a serious operation when a part of the tissue will have to be removed. In addition, the results of the latest scientific research prove, silicone implants may also lead to scarring around them. Doctors also believe silicone implants incite autoimmune illnesses and may even provoke cancer. If the tumor has been formed, implants make it difficult to find it, because they become an obstacle for x-rays.

Because of the above-mentioned information, silicone implants sales were banned in the US in 1992. There has been more scientific research conducted to prove the safety of silicone, but the US Food and Drug Administration ruled it was not sufficient.

Saline implants contain a common salty liquid, the properties of which are reminiscent to the ones of plasma. Even if such implant leaks, the woman's health will not suffer. A saline implant is the only legal way for breast surgery in the US at the moment, although it is not popular among patients. As a rule, saline implants have a thick shell, which makes breasts resemble bags of water both physically and outwardly. Because of such disadvantages, implants producers and patients try to make the FDA change its mind and bringsilicone implants back to the market. The efforts have not achieved any success yet.

German plastic surgeons offer titanium implants now. Such implants are filled with silicone too, but their shell is covered with a very thin layer of titanium – the eternal metal that is widely used in space technologies. Titanium has been chosen for this delicate purpose due to its unique quality. It is absolutely inert in human body. Unlike silicone implants, titanium implants do not cause inflammation, allergy or scarring. Titanium implants are currently undergoing clinical tests. Scientists are now working on their strength, because the ‘titanium shell’ is filled with silicone, the leaking of which may lead to serious consequences.

European company Silimed suggests another method of safe silicone breasts. The company filled its implants with gel, which does not leak even if the shell is ruptured. Both surgeons and their patients affirm, such implants are as good as silicone ones from the point of view of their qualities. Gel-filled implants are already available in the EU and Brazil. They presently undergo clinical tests in the US.

A fast, but temporal breast augmentation method was developed in Sweden. Scandinavian doctors inject hyaluronic acid in the breast tissue. This substance is used to fill wrinkles. This method is available only in Sweden, scientists are currently testing it. For the time being, it has proved to be rather safe, its effect lasts up to several years.

Doctor Kotaro Yoshimura and his colleagues from the University of Tokyo are working on a principally new method of enhancement. Japanese doctors transplant adipose cells from woman's stomach or thighs. The transplantation of adipocytes is used in cosmetology for smoothing out wrinkles or scars. However, the transplantation of a large quantity of adipose tissue, which is practiced for breast enhancement, may kill a part of adipose cells due to the lack of the blood circulation. However, Dr. Yoshimura believes it is possible to avoid such side effects adding stem cells to the transplanted adipose ones. Stem cells are normally programmed to turn into the adipose tissue, but in this case they form blood vessels, which nurture the whole transplanted tissue.

The new method has more chances to gain success. It uses natural cells that will not be seized. Moreover, women will like the idea to get rid of some fat from the stomach for the benefit of their breasts.

A lot of other plastic surgery methods will gradually become successful too. A lot of people are unhappy with their bodies and they often want to change something to become more attractive for others. Doctors even practice special discounts for such category of clients.

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Author`s name Olga Savka