Breast augmentation enlarges a woman’s breasts through the surgical placement of breast implants. In general, it is a cosmetic procedure strictly performed to fulfill a woman’s personal desire for fuller breasts or to restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy. Implants may also be used, however, for reconstructive purposes to restore a breast that is lost due to mastectomy, injury or for other reasons. In any case, breast implants allow women the choice of a fuller, natural appearing breast and a more balanced figure. Women with breast cancer say that breast reconstruction with implants after mastectomy has helped their recovery by restoring a more natural appearance and a sense of wholeness. Whether it is performed immediately following mastectomy or at a later time, breast reconstruction can dramatically improve a woman’s appearance, self-confidence and overall quality of life. The decision to have implants is a very personal one – each woman must decide for herself if the benefits of implants will achieve her goals and that the risks and potential complications are acceptable. In 2000, the Institute of Medicine published its finding on the safety of silicone gel breast implants. This highly regarded scientific panel concluded that silicone gel implants do not increase the risk of autoimmune diseases such as lupus or cancer, as has been suggested in legal claims filed against silicone implant manufacturers. Instead, the Institute found that localized problems that may occur in the area of the breast implant were the primary concern. Every surgical procedure has potential complications, such as infection, bleeding and scarring. Additionally, there are some potential complications that are specific to breast implants. It is important for women considering breast implant surgery to understand these potential problems and put them in perspective before making the decision to have surgery using silicone gel implants.Request a Consultation
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