Breast Implants

Breast Implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and manufacturers. At first the number may seem daunting and because of this Mr Price will advise you which implant he feels is most appropriate for you. This will be based upon what look you want to achieve and the shape of your breasts before the procedure.

Implants come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Although there is an impressive array of sizes (or volumes, technically), there are essentially only two shapes of implant – so-called ‘round’ and ‘anatomical’ (or teardrop-shaped).

Round implants are named because they are round on front view and dome-shaped on side-view – a bit like an orange cut in half. The flat surface rests against the chest wall, and the dome adds projection and size throughout the area of the breast but particularly add volume in the upper half of the breast. They are commonly used where the patient has enough tissue to cover the implant well, especially above the nipple.

Anatomical implants are (generally) oval shaped on front view and teardrop shaped on side view, and come in a complex variety of shapes and sizes. They try to mimic the natural shape of the breast and so are thinner above, with more volume in the lower part of the breast. They therefore have to be put in the right way up so that the volume in these implants is aimed to ‘add’ to the lower part of the breast, rather than the upper. The concept here is that the breast naturally has more volume in the lower half and therefore these implants add to the ‘natural’ or ‘anatomical’ shape. Despite this apparently obvious advantage, anatomical implants are not necessarily the right choice for you and Mr Price will discuss this with you at the pre-operative consultation. Unlike round implants, rotation of anatomical implants is a problem in a small percentage of ladies (round implants probably rotate regularly but it is not possible to see this because there is no ‘up’ and ‘down’.

All implants are made of a shell, which is (and always has been) made of silicone. Generally, the implants are filled with silicone, with varying degrees of viscosity/thickness. Some implants have saline filling but these are not commonly used in the UK and have the potential to leak and, therefore, deflate.

A number of years ago there was the so-called ‘Silicone Controversy’, predominantly in the USA, and amid scares for the safety of the implants (and patients who might receive them), the United States FDA removed them from the US market. Subsequently these fears were proven unfounded. Silicone implants have always been available in the UK and, generally, are the first choice for most British Cosmetic Surgeons. The UK Department of Health have published guidance on implants (click here for the MHRA guidance).

All silicone implants develop what is known as a ‘capsule’ – a thin wall of scar tissue around the implant. Usually, this cannot be felt but in some ladies, over time, the capsule shrinks over time (years) in a process known as Capsular Contracture. This can result in a stiffer implant then normal, or even one that becomes painful. In these circumstances it may be necessary to exchange the implants.

To make an appointment to discuss Breast Implants surgery in Cambridge, please contact Mr Price’s secretary.