Keeping abreast of latest breast implant developments

I want to ask High50 female readers a very personal question. How do you feel about your breasts? Be honest. Do you have any personal hang-ups? too big? small? are they becoming droopy with age? do you need a uplift?

Breast-size wise whether you are a AA or DD cup, flat, perky or sagging, have wide or small nipples, pale pink or dark brown— all of these details are minor. Forget the aesthetics for a moment.

More importantly as you reach your fifties it is time to give your breasts more attention and care ensuring that you are healthy. Ladies, do the routine touch-up. Give your breasts a thorough feel from armpit to cleavage checking for lumps and abnormalities.

Latest statistics show around 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK. The majority of breast cancer (around 81%) occurs in women over the age of 50. Those who have undergone cancer treatment let’s not make the subject taboo. It is nothing to be ashamed of and breast reconstruction is available.

Statistics show as women grow older with less family responsibilities and a more disposable income they will be considering enhancements, a facelift, nip and tuck here and there and yes – breast implants. Why not? age is no limit.

Whatever the reason you are considering to go under knife one thing we can all agree on is that the breasts are a very important part of the human anatomy. For those women who have been contemplating aesthetic surgery and debating whether to have silicone or saline implants.   Fear not – we have a specialist at hand to go through the basics.

Dr Ondrej Mestak is part of W1 Wellness located on Queen Anne Street Medical Centre, London. He shares five tips for women considering implants:

First step, breast screening and evaluation

The first step is to make sure you have healthy breasts. Have you been invited for breast screening also known as a mammogram?  This is just procedure. You will usually be invited by the NHS for screening between your 50th and 53rd birthday.

Careful planning and having realistic expectations?

Every patient has different expectations and possibilities. We should evaluate her body type, size of breast, thickness of her subcutaneous tissues. We do not choose implant according to its size but according to its shape. There are two types of implants – round and shaped. I use most commonly shaped implant, that allows me to choose implant according to dimensions of the patients’ breast from a range of 150 shapes.

Silicone Vs Saline? What is best for older women in their fifties?

In my practice, I use only textured silicone implants. I believe that having this implant in your breast has better feeling. And, since I like to use shaped implants which lead to the most natural results, I cannot use saline implants that are not available in shaped version.

What are the latest developments in breast surgery? What makes you a good candidate foe breast reconstruction using your own tissue (flap procedures)? Where does the flesh come from?

If we want to achieve natural results, even in slim patients, we recommend so called composite breast augmentation. Using this technique, we combine breast enlargement by implant and patent`s own fat utilizing the best of these two worlds. It is ground – breaking method in field of breast surgery. Since it is not possible to enlarge a breast only with fat sufficiently, we use the implant for sufficient volume enlargement. Afterwards, fat is used to cover edges of the implant creating natural looking breast. This technique leads to the most natural results even in large breast augmentation cases.

Concerning patients after mastectomy, I choose breast reconstruction with own tissues for patients with higher BMI and for those who had previous irradiation in the area of mastectomy. It is larger operation then breast reconstruction with implant; however in these patients it leads to better, more natural, results.

What are the long-term risks? How likely or common is it that a woman will reject the silicone or saline implants?

Rejecting of an implant is not possible. But one condition, so called capsular contracture, might look like that. It is the most common indication for reoperation after breast augmentation which occurs in around 4-8% of cases. In this case, the breast changes its shape to more rounded. It is corrected by short reoperation. We can prevent this problem by using good quality silicone implant and correct operative technique. Other condition that needs reoperation is of implant rupture that occurs in around 1-4% of cases.

What options do Cancer survivors have to recreate the breast?

Breast reconstruction is taken today as a final phase of treatment of breast cancer. There are many options for breast reconstruction both with silicone implant and autologous tissue. The operation needs to be tailored for finding on each patient.

Battling breast cancer is an extremely overwhelming experience and coming out the other with end with the all clear is quite an achievement for many women. Those who have survived breast cancer can begin the road to recovery and improvement considering reconstruction of the chest and regain a sense of wellbeing. Over the years advancements in the plastic and reconstructive surgery departments has come a long way.  There is more demand now than ever for surgery post cancer and there is nothing to be ashamed of whether you choose to reconstruct or remain flat.