Minnesota Women Seek Breast Augmentation Part I By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on July 06, 2010

Minnesota Women seek Breast Augmentation Part I

Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure.  Minneapolis and greater Minnesotan women desire a larger bustline for a variety of reasons.  Whether you were dealt a bum deal by mother nature or simply want to restore the size bust your had during pregnancy or while you were nursing are common reasons to consider breast augmentation.

Dr. Kobienia, an Edina-based Minnesota plastic surgeon, has over a decade of experience with the nuances of breast augmentation surgery.  During your complimentary consultation, Dr. Kobienia will explain to you the variety of choices you have regarding breast implants.  Dr. Kobienia and his experienced staff can help you choose the type of implant to use (smooth, textured, saline, or silicone gel) and where to place it. 

There are many choices Midwestern women have regarding breast implants.  The first choice is Saline or Silicone gel.   In 2006 the FDA lifted the restriction on the use of silicone gel implants.  During the previous 14 years plastic surgeons in America and other parts of the world continued to use these devices particularly in breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients.  Once enough data was accumulated to please the FDA the restriction on the use of silicone gel breast implansts was lifted in the USA.  Silicone gel breast implants have become the worlds most studied medical implant. 

Worldwide about 70% of women choose silicone gel implants and 15% pick saline implants.  A small percent of implants used are made of products currently not available in the United States.

Saline breast implants are a silicone shell filled with salt water - much like the solution you wash your contacts in.  These devices come empty from the factory and can be inserted through a much smaller incision - one of their greatest attributes.  Typically the incision length is about an inch long.  The second great attribute of saline implants is if they break you are very aware of the problem due to immediate loss of volume.  This is a fashion emergency, not a medical emergency.  This knowledge is appealing to many women.  Unfortunately, saline implants break at a higher rate than gel implants.  Saline implants may also be more feelable through the skin of a slender woman.  Some people feel saline implants feel more ‘fake’.  Occasionally, wrinkles of the shell of the implant may be visible through the skin.  One way to minimize this is to place the implant in the submuscular position.  Saline devices are slightly less expensive than silicone gel devices.  In general young women prefer these devices due to their small incision and thus scar length.

Silicone gel implants are a silicone shell filled with silicone polymer much like the consistency of gummy bears.  Women report these devices feel more natural.  They are less prone to be feelable through the skin and have fewer problems with visible wrinkles.  Silicone gel devices may feel slightly heavier than saline implants.  Because these devices come prefilled from the manufacturer a slightly longer incision is necessary to insert the implant.  This may be a downside to silicone gel breast implants.  In addition, the chemistry of these devices makes absorption and migration of the contents of the gel implant very difficult. This is why if the implant breaks, you may not know it right away.  There are no active symptoms of a broken silicone gel breast implant.  Suspicion and the development of a firm scar (capsular contracture) over a few month time period may be your only clue.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the currently gold standard to assess integrity of silicone gel breast implants. Silicone gel devices have a breakage rate of 1.1% in six years (Mentor data) and about 10% in 10 years (Allergan data).   This is a vast improvement over the devices used in the 1980s where failure rates of 50% in 10 years had been observed.  Silicone gel devices are slightly more expensive than saline implants but typically come with a much better warranty.  Currently, the device manufacturer will replace a broken device for a lifetime and will help defray the cost of surgery for the first ten years. 

Schedule your consultation today with Dr. Kobienia to learn more about breast enhancement surgery and look forward to the next blog.


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Kobienia Plastic Surgery

Dr. Brian J. Kobienia is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been providing world-class care for nearly 20 years. When he is not working with patients, Dr. Kobienia is serving various local and global philanthropic programs. He is also affiliated with notable organizations including:

  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  • Board-certified member of the American Board of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

With Dr. Kobienia's help, you can look as good as you feel. To get started, request a consultation online or call our plastic surgery practice at (952) 925-1111.

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