Highlighting Your Headlights

Highlighting Your Headlights


All about breast implants

By now you know we are in Istanbul, Turkey. If you are considering plastic surgery in Istanbul, naturally we want you to research us. We’ve already shared some information about The Breast Show in Istanbul for your reading pleasure. And we’ve broached the subject of swapping out your current breast implants, covering reasons why you might want to do so.

This article is the first in a series highlighting some of the most popular plastic surgery procedures. In the Highlighting series, we tell you ALL the alternative names of the surgery so you learn the medical terminology as well as develop a little street cred with slang terms. We share a little history of the procedure and describe the general process. We mention possible complications and give you an idea of the typical recovery time. Also known as: Breast augmentation, augmentation mammoplasty, breast enhancement, boob job.

First recorded breast implant

The first documented breast enhancement surgery involving implants happened in Houston, Texas, USA in 1962. Just one year prior, plastic surgeons Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow developed the first silicone breast implant with help from the Dow Corning Company. They successfully gave the implant to a dog in a trial run but needed a human patient.

Enter 29 year-old Timmie Jean Lindsey, fresh out of the tattoo artist’s chair with roses on her breasts. Full of regret, she sought out Cronin and Gerow. She qualified for government-funded dermabrasion but the doctors tried to talk her into a new pair of breasts. Finally they agreed to operate on her ears - at her request - in exchange for her participation as their first human test subject. Understand she had no dissatisfaction with her natural breasts; she agreed to receive the implants as a transaction to obtain her ear surgery. Could this also be the first documented “booby prize?”

(While this post is about breast implants, it is interesting to note that the first breast augmentation occurred almost 70 years before the implant. Here’s an article including some titillating information about the first augmentation in 1897. German professor of surgery Vincent Czerny identified a patient with a unique pair of problems: she had a painful lump in her breast and an unsightly fatty lump [aka lipoma] on her back. He reported simultaneous removal of both lumps and implantation of the fatty tissue into the patient’s breast. The surgery was a long term success.)

General process

First you take a nap. General anesthesia is administered and then your surgeon will choose his/her preferred place to make the incision: the crease under your breast (aka the inframammary fold,) the edge of your areola (periareolar) or through your armpit via the transaxillary approach.

The implants may be empty or full when they’re inserted, depending on their material. Saline implants are made of a silicone shell that is filled with sterile saline water once positioned correctly. Because the implants are significantly smaller when inserted, the incision can be smaller than the size required for silicone implants. Silicone implants are inserted pre-filled to capacity. There’s a third option, fat grafting, where the surgeon takes fat from another area of your body and injects it into your breasts.

Implants are positioned either under or over the pectoral muscle, depending on the size and type of implant you’ve chosen and the surgical plan you’ve discussed with your doctor. When they’re in the correct position, your surgeon will close the incisions with stitches and cover them with sterile dressing.

You might also have drains left behind to collect and remove excess blood and lymphatic fluid. The drain consists of a hollow tube left just inside your surgical incision. It’s attached to a contracted plastic vessel that creates a vacuum. Your fluids will accumulate in this vessel every day.You may be tasked with recording how much fluid is collected and emptying the drains each day.

Eventually, when the drains are pulling less and less fluid out, they will be removed by one of your medical professionals during a follow-up visit.

What could go wrong?

Complications that may occur include:

  • Capsular contracture - when normal scar tissue forms but then thickens and hardens around the implant, constricting it.
  • Hematoma - a collection of blood in tissue near surgical sites. Mild hematomas are normal and common but severe hematomas may be an indication of active internal bleeding.
  • Rippling - caused by poor breast tissue coverage or underfilling of implants, rippling occurs when the surface of the implant is visible through the skin’s surface.
  • Rupture - under 10% of patients will ever rupture an implant but it does happen in cases of contact with sharp objects or blunt force trauma.
  • Seroma - a collection of fluid in tissue near surgical sites or where tissue has been removed.

What could go right?

The good things that you should mentally focus on include:

  • Dropping and fluffing, where the implant settles down into the capsule of the breast where it will look most natural and feel the best.
  • Your clothes feeling and fitting better, where you finally realize the body you’ve been dreaming of.
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence.
  • The filling in of deflated breast capsules from rapid weight loss. Be proud of yourself for putting the work in and improving your appearance!
  • Correcting natural imperfections.

Recovery time

Breast implant surgery alone usually requires at least four weeks of recovery time. Your physical activity will be limited during this time to ensure maximum healing. For example, many doctors advise patients to avoid raising their arms over their head for four weeks. During this same time frame, don’t lift anything over 10 lb (4.5 kg.)

You will be sporting some compression garments during this time also, to help your new body parts settle in and be supported. Compression gear can include a front-zipped surgical bra and/or a Velcroed compression band that attaches over your breasts to encourage the aforementioned dropping and fluffing.

Remember, these words are a suggestion. Only your surgeon - and we can recommend a great one if you’re considering plastic surgery in Istanbul - can give you the advice you need to hear. And make sure you ask any questions you may have.

The last stitch

Boob jobs can be a lot of work but the more you know before you go, the more prepared you can be. If you’re considering breast implants, you should know what material you want to fill your fun bags with: saline, silicone or fat. When you’ve made this decision, find your surgeon. We have a guide to finding the perfect surgeon right here!


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