What is breast augmentation operation?

Breast may be small structurally or due to various reasons (such as trauma, burn, cancer surgery, infection). One breast may be smaller than the other, or asymmetric. Operations, performed by inserting prosthesis inside the breast for bringing both breasts into equal status, or for increasing its volume, are called breast augmentation operations.

What is silicone breast prosthesis?

Silicone breast prosthesis, which is used since 1960’s, is a balloon-like structure, prepared in the form of breast. There are round ones, ones in drop form, and ones at various heights and widths. Balloon section is made of silicone. For ensuring harmony with tissues in the body and for minimizing the possibility of capsule tissue formation, which may be periphery of the prosthesis, the surface of the prosthesis is produced ragged or by polyurethane based covering substance. Again silicone origin half fluid cohesive gel is present also inside the balloon, which has a silicone outer surface.

Do silicone breast prosthesis cause cancer or any other disease?

It has been alleged that some ligament tissue diseases (connective tissue disease) develop in the body against prosthesis, which is a foreign object, breastfeeding becomes difficult, and prosthesis causes cancer. However, none of these has been proven scientifically. In trials performed by FDA (American Food and Drug Administration) and various universities, it has been proved that silicone prosthesis does not cause cancer certainly and that risk of cancer development in breasts with prosthesis is the same in normal breasts.

Does silicone breast prosthesis lead to deformation of breast form in the future?

Since a foreign substance is used in these operations for augmenting the breast, a membrane, which is formed by body reaction and which is called capsule, develops around the prosthesis. The capsule tissue, which is formed as a result of this reaction that is developed by the body to limit the foreign substance, may be at different thicknesses. The formation of a thin membrane around the prosthesis does not lead to any problem, and in case of formation of a membrane at medium thickness, a mild hardness in breasts  may be noticed. In rare cases, a thick membrane (capsule) forms around the prosthesis, and this may lead to hardness, pain, contractions, and asymmetries in breasts.

What can be done in capsule formation?

In case of mild and medium capsular contraction, for the removal of capsule around the prosthesis, massage will be sufficient. In heavy capsule contractions, the capsule tissue may be torn apart by the manual intervention to be performed by the surgeon. In some cases, breast prosthesis should be taken out, the contraction should be cleaned, and new prosthesis should be placed.

Does silicone prosthesis have a chance of tearing or exploding?

Silicone prosthesis is rather resistant to external strokes. Pressure, squeezing or massage, performed externally, do not damage the prosthesis. The person can lay face down two months after the operation. Tearing of the prosthesis is a rare case; it may arise in car accidents, and by falling down from a height, by blunt and penetrating object injuries. In this case, prosthesis should be taken out.

Does silicone prosthesis insertion create difficulty in the breast follow-up by mammography?

Digital mammography and MR techniques, used in screening and examination of the breast tissue, do not yield any defective result in breasts with prosthesis. Prosthesis does not hide the cancer, which may form in mammography, or yield a false cancer appearance.

How long does the operation last and from where is the prosthesis placed?

The operation is performed by general anesthesia under hospital conditions, and it lasts about 2 hours. Prosthesis can be placed by entering from the curve under the breast, the armpit or the edge of the nipple. The most acceptable scar is the scar forming around the nipple. In cases where the nipple is very small, the prosthesis may be placed by also entering from the curve under the breast.

Where is silicone prosthesis placed?

Silicone prosthesis is generally placed between the chest wall muscle layer and the breast tissue, that is to say that right under the breast tissue. However, according to the structure of breast tissue and to the preference of the surgeon, the prosthesis may be placed also under the chest muscle or under the half muscle half breast tissue.

When can one return back to normal life after the operation?

It is generally comfortable after the operation and the pain is minimal. There might be restriction in arm movements for 2 weeks. Support bandages, similar to bra, are applied on the breasts. In terms of determination of the position of the prosthesis, and since this reduces the pains, which may form, the patient may return back to normal life in 3 – 4 days. After 3rd week, special massages are started for the prevention of capsule formation of the prosthesis, which is located inside the breast.

What are the complications after the operation?

After the operation, some patients complain about sensitivity, which increases or decreases at nipples, or about the numbness around the cut. This is generally temporary. Edema and mild pain at the breast region are the complaints, which can be observed after each breast operation. Bleeding and infection are conditions rarely observed.

Is the changing of breast prosthesis required after a certain period?

In cases of heavy capsule contraction, which changes breast form, and which may cause pains and asymmetries, prosthesis should be taken out. Except this, silicone breast prosthesis may be used safely for many years.