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Women, Not Men, Choose the Best Breast and Here Are the Results!

Tim Boyer's picture

Researchers report that by asking women who have had breast reconstructive surgery evaluate via a Breast-Q© questionnaire what they personally consider to be the quality of life aspects important for satisfaction with their breast implant surgery, that their quantified opinion on which breast implant is best can help plastic surgeons provide improved service for their patients.

Breast augmentation and breast reconstruction has gone through a number of models of breast implants over the past few several decades in an endeavor to provide women with a breast prosthesis that is the most appealing in both appearance and touch.

However, creating the perfect breast initially began more or less as a trial by error due to that in its early days, breast reconstruction was virgin territory that revealed complications showing that breasts are much more complicated than filling bags with a semisolid material to mimic a natural look and feel.

While saline-filled breast implants are considered relatively safer due to the potential risk of leakage of implant contents into living tissue, studies have shown that overall, women prefer gel implants to saline implants.

In a study published in the March 2013 issue of the journal Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the authors of the paper provide a brief history about the evolution of silicone gel implants. The first silicone gel implant was introduced in 1962 that were designed to be anatomical in shape consisting of a thick outer shell and firm interior gel.

A second generation of breast gel implants was then designed that had a round shape, less viscous gel and a thinner outer shell. While this design proved popular, it ran into implant rupture and gel leakage problems that sent breast implant designers back to their drawing boards.

The third generation of breast implants were once again a rounded shape with a thicker shell, a more cohesive gel filling, and a barrier layer to reduce leakage into the breast tissues.

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Within the 3rd generation of breast implant, a newer model returned to the anatomically shaped model, but with a new polyurethane-covered implant that was believed to have a lower rate of a common implant side effect called capsular contracture that would make a breast look less natural and more lumpy. This new model of implant, however, proved to have its own problems known as traction rippling that gave the breast a wrinkled look to it.

As a result, a fourth-generation implant was designed with a more cohesive gel fill while maintaining the thick, strong, low-bleed shell of the third-generation devices, which was then followed by a 5th generation of breast that had the added features of anatomically shaped, form-stable silicone gel.

To date, round gel-filled prostheses are felt to carry the benefits of a softer, more natural feel, and movement within the breast pocket, which simulates the native breast gland. However, because with gravity the round silicone gel implant may take on the form of the shaped device, plastic surgeons have questioned which is really the best breast: round, shaped…or neither.

To answer this question, researchers have turned to the patients who have actually road tested the round or shaped breast implants. Using data in a special questionnaire called the “Breast-Q©” questionnaire, 65 women receiving round implants and 63 receiving shaped implants (the round implants all had a smooth surface, while the shaped implants had a textured surface) the women rated on a 100-point scale multiple factors such as several areas of health-related quality of life related to a measure of the degree of satisfaction they experienced with their particular implant choice.

What the survey revealed was that essentially there was only a slight numerical preference for the shaped breast implant over the round shaped implant, but not enough to be statistically significant with the number of women surveyed. The researchers determined that one overall noteworthy difference between the two types of implants was that women with shaped implants rated their breasts as being firmer than women with round implants.

The authors conclude that the findings of their study will allow surgeons to further inform their patients preoperatively regarding the expected outcomes of breast reconstruction using round and shaped silicone implants and may help to guide introduction of the shaped implants for widespread use.

For an informative article about the number one regret many women face from a breast implant, follow the titled link "Top 5 Breast Implant Facts and The 1st Regret Women Have Afterward."

Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile

Reference: "Patient-Reported Satisfaction and Health-Related Quality of Life following Breast Reconstruction: A Comparison of Shaped Cohesive Gel and Round Cohesive Gel Implant Recipients" Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: March 2013 - Volume 131 - Issue 3 - p 431–441: Macadam, Sheina A. M.D.,et Al.