The Basics of Breast Implants: Your Comprehensive Guide to Breast Enhancement in Singapore

Silicone Breast Implants
The Basics of Breast Implants: Your Comprehensive Guide to Breast Enhancement in Singapore
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It is a really personal decision to have breast enhancement. There are different reasons to want breast enhancement and most commonly, some women want to achieve a more attractive body shape, while some women who have gone through pregnancy seek ways to regain their pre-pregnancy figure back. Some women even get breast enhancement to give their confidence a significant boost.

Regardless of the reasons, breast enhancement surgery is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedure because of its high satisfaction rate among patients. In fact, in recent years, the stigma around breast enhancement surgery is gradually declining as more and more women become more open about going under the knife to improve their appearance.

If you are interested in the possibility of getting a breast enhancement procedure for yourself, this article will help you to have a better understanding of the procedure and debunk the myths surrounding breast enhancement.

This article is composed of three parts:

  1. Part 1: All you need to know about breast implants and breast enhancement procedure.
  2. Part 2: Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Less Invasive Procedures.
  3. Part 3: Debunking myths on breast enhancement surgery.

Part 1: All you need to know about breast implants and breast enhancement procedure.

How does breast enhancement work?

Breast enhancement is a cosmetic procedure that involves insertion of breast implants to enhance the size and shape of the breast. In addition, breast implants make different sized breasts achieve better symmetry to give them a more natural look. There are three known ways of insertion of breast implants:

  • Transaxillary incision: The incision is made under the armpit, so the function of the breast tissue will not be affected.
  • Inframammary incision: The incision is made under the breast, so it is easier for your doctor to directly view the tissue where implant will be placed. This type of incision have a shorter recovery time.
  • Areola incision: The incision is made around the nipple, so the scar can be easily hidden after the wounds from the operation have healed.

The breast implants can also be classified depending on the location of placement:

  • Under the muscle
  • Between the muscle and tissue
  • Directly under the mammary

The type of incision and the location of placement of breast implants may influence the final outcome and the functionality of the breast tissue. Your doctor will be the one who will have a final say on what type of incision and where to place the implants, therefore, it is crucial that you discuss everything with our doctor first.

What are the different types of breast enhancement surgeries?

As of date, there are 3 main types of breast enhancement surgeries:

  1. Fat Transfer

How it Works:

From the name itself, this procedure involves transfer of your own fat to your breasts.  This procedure is also commonly called fat grafting. For this procedure, you must have enough good quality fat (at least 150-250cc) for transfer. The stomach and inner thighs are the most usual source of fats.

Pros:

  • Minimally invasive so there is less scarring, down time and discomfort.
  • A "natural procedure" because no synthetic material is inserted into the body.
  • Enhances breast size while reducing undesirable fats.
  • Can be used in combination with silicone gel to achieve softer breasts.
  • Moderate increase in breast size so it looks more natural.
  • Repeated procedures can be done to achieve desired results (with 8-12 weeks interval).

Cons:

  • Not suitable for women who does not have enough body fat.
  • May cost more due to extra time and care involved in the procedure.
  • Can only increase breast cup size up to one size bigger.
  • The body may tend to absorb the transferred fat over time.
  1. Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone Breast Implants

How it Works:

Silicone breast implants are the most popular and most preferred breast enhancement procedure in Singapore because they are able to give a more definite shape and size increase. Depending on the desired size, breast implants made of silicone material will placed in your breast through an incision. Cohesive gel, which is a type of silicone-based breast implants, is a lot more durable and rarely change shape.

Pros:

  • Very soft and gives a very natural feel.
  • Can increase breast cup size to three to four times of the original.
  • Implant rippling (folds and wrinkles) is uncommon compared to saline implants.
  • Safe and has not been linked to cancer or other diseases.
  • Firmer gels give a better shape and may last longer.

Cons:

  • Since silicone implants are pre-filled, longer incisions are required.
  • Ruptures or leakage are hard to detect because the gel does not collapse.
  • For the above reason, regular follow-ups and examinations with your doctor is required to make sure that the implants are intact and functioning well.
  1. Saline Breast Implants

How it Works:

Through an incision, a silicone shell is inserted into the breast and then filled with aaline or (sterile salt water). The amount of fluid to be inserted will depend on your desired size. Today, saline implants are less preferred compared to silicone implants.

Pros:

  • Can be adjusted during operation to achieve equally sized breasts.
  • Can be adjusted even after operation (usually with breast reconstruction).
  • Does not require large or long incision.
  • Saline implants are filled with water, so ruptures can be easily detected because the water will leak out and the breast implants will deflate.
  • Can cost less than silicone breast implants.

Cons:

  • Implant rippling (folds and wrinkles) can be very visible and felt.
  • Since the consistency is water-like, breasts may appear less firm.
  • Breast deflation is more like to occur when breast implants rupture.
  • Heavier compared to silicone implants.
  • Considered as old technology.

How much bigger can your breasts get after breast enhancement surgery?

Like any medical procedure, the final results you can get is highly dependent on the individual and can differ from person to person. The size of the breasts after breast enhancement surgery can be determined by a lot of factors such as:

  • Your desired size.
  • Your over-all body frame.
  • The percentage of breast tissue you currently possess.
  • Skin laxity
  • Present breast size, shape and symmetry

Usually, doctors advise that you shouldn’t go more than twice the size of your current breast size. Going beyond this may increase the risk of complications and will require a longer downtime.

In addition to enhancing the size, depending on your doctor’s recommendations, you can choose to have a narrower cleavage, more side boob, or perkier breasts. These different factors can influence the final size and volume of breast implants.

What's the most common breast implant shape chosen in Singapore?

The two most common breast implant shape are:

  • Round shape

Round shaped breast implants are typically recommended for women with looser tissues and want a sturdier implant yet remains soft to the touch. It is important to note that round shaped breast implants may give you look fuller look, but they may also tend to look more artificial.

  • Teardrop shape

On the other hand, teardrop shaped breast implants are typically recommended for women with breast tissues that are relatively tight and wish to have a more proportional and natural looking breasts.

Also, breast implants with teardrop shape are specifically designed to imitate the natural shape of the breast and are usually the most natural choice for breast implants. Because of its more irregular shape, however, teardrop shaped breast implants have the tendency to flip or turn and can make your breast look out of shape.

What should I expect during breast enhancement surgery?

Breast implants surgery

Excluding consultation time, the entire breast enhancement process takes between 50 to 90 minutes. Here are the general step by step process during breast enhancement surgery:

  1. General Anesthesia will be administered to your body to put you in deep sleep.
  2. Your doctor makes an incision, so the breast implants can be inserted with the use of a special sleeve.
  3. Your breast implants are inserted and properly positioned, then, the cut is closed using absorbable sutures.
  4. A specialized waterproof dressing is then placed over the wound to allows you to take a bath without wetting the wound.

Will there be pain during and after breast enhancement surgery?

During surgery:

Technically, since you will be given general anesthesia, you will not feel any pain during surgery. You will be put into deep sleep and once you awake, the surgery would have been over already.

After surgery:

Since breast enhancement is a surgical procedure, you should expect discomfort and mild pain around the incision area. There is no need to worry because the pain and discomfort are mostly tolerable. In fact,  patients say that they are able to walk out of the day surgery without any help.

Note that you may experience occasional pains, swelling and bruising over the next couple of weeks while the wound is still healing and recovering. This however will not stop you from doing your everyday routines.

In addition, some patients also feel out of breath during the first few days every time they lie flat. Don’t worry because this is very common because of the weight of the breast implant. You'll get used to it in no time.

What postoperative care should I consider?

The following weeks post-surgery are the most important time for a better and faster recovery. Typically, patients are advised to:

  • Limit movement in their arms or move as slowly as possible shifting unexpectedly.
  • Avoid sudden irregular movements to prevent the implants from
  • Practice religious disinfection on the incision site
  • Not irritate or rub n the wound
  • Take the week off to allow better recovery

How long will it take until my breast implants look natural?

Breast implants take a while to settle down. During recovery period, your breasts may feel very firm, and may sit high as the skin around the breasts is stretched tightly. Since muscles are involved, the swelling may take a couple of months to completely die down (but does not interfere with your everyday routine).

Here are the developments you should expect over time:

  • After 2 - 3 months after operation, swelling would have subsided and the tightness will be reduced. Your breasts will start to settle into a natural position resulting to improved breast shape.
  • After 4-6 months after operation, your breast should feel very soft and natural-looking.

If your breasts still feel firm, unnatural  and swollen after 5-6 months, it is most wise to call your doctor as soon as possible.

How much does breast enhancement surgery cost in Singapore?

In Singapore, prices for breast enhancement surgery range from $7,500- $14,500.

The following are some of the many factors that influence cost of breast enhancement surgery:

  • Doctor’s fee
  • Anaesthetist’s fee
  • Type of breast implant
  • Brand of breast implant
  • Surgical equipment and consumables charge
  • Pre and postoperative medications

Are breast implants long-lasting?

Thanks to technology, the new 5th generation breast implants are designed to last for a lifetime.  However, breast implants with weaker shells can only last somewhere between 15- 20 years.

Also, in comparison to the older saline breast implants, the longevity of silicone implants are usually more superior.

Doctors usually recommend a yearly follow-up examination and screening to assess the state of the breast implants.

What side effects should to watch out for?

Generally speaking, getting a breast implant does not cause long-term side effects or adverse effects on the health of a patient. However, you should be cautious and watch out about the following:

  • Capsular contracture: A condition where the breast implants may feel abnormally hard
  • Rupture: Though very rare, if left undetected or untreated, ruptures and leaks may cause severe infections.

This is why, as mentioned above, it is important for you to have follow-up check-up with your doctor yearly or every two years to make sure that the breast implants are still in place and has no leakage.

What can I do if I’m not satisfied with the result of breast enhancement surgery?

Once the breast implants have settled and you are not satisfied with the way it looks, it is better to talk to your immediate, so he/she can give you advice and recommendations on the next steps to be undertaken. Make sure to pinpoint what aspect you are dissatisfied with. Some aspects can be easily fixed. Others may require more significant interventions and may even require you to undergo a series of treatments.

How can I choose the best surgeon in Singapore?

Unfortunately, there is no 'perfect type' of breast implant. What looks good on your friend may not look good on you. This is why thorough dialogue with your doctor is highly encouraged. Based on your body type and physical assessment, an experienced and well-trained plastic surgeon will be able to provide quality recommendations to achieve your desired result.

To choose the right doctor for you, these are the following points you should consider:

  1. Make sure that he/she is a qualified and accreted plastic surgeon in Singapore who have extensive training in cosmetic breast enhancement surgery.
  2. Check his/her track record to find out how many breast enhancement surgeries he/she has performed. Also, check how many procedures are performed in a monthly basis.
  3. Check the clinic if they have properly equipped to perform breast enhancement procedures. Also, check if they have a wide array of breast implants to choose from.
  4. Don’t hesitate to view their work portfolio containing before and after pictures to give you a better idea of their skills and work.
  5. See to it that he/she can fully help you understand the procedure you are about to undertake. Ask as many questions as you can and don’t leave any questions unanswered. Trustworthy doctors will not hide anything from you because your safety is their priority.

Part 2: Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Less Invasive Procedures.

  1. Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Breast fillers

Breast fillers usually come in the form of injectables. Compared to breast enhancement surgery, this procedure is non-invasive. However, based on previous reports, breast fillers can cause severe complications that can develop years after the original procedure.

Breast fillers cause serious problems that endanger your health such as: severe infections and formation of cysts. Over time, fillers can also migrate to other parts of the body resulting to distortions and severe unbearable pain.

If you had breast fillers in the past and start to exhibit these problems, better call a well-trained doctor right away. Usually, breast fillers are removed through surgery.

In Singapore, breast fillers are illegal. If you know a salon or clinic that offer breast fillers, better stay away or report them because it is not permitted by the law.

  1. Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Breast Lift

Breast lift

Like breast enhancement surgery, a breast lift is also a surgical procedure that aims to restore the shape of the breasts.  Clinically known as Mastopexy, breast lift restores breast shape by removing the excess skin and by lifting or reshaping the underlying breast tissue. This tightening of breast tissue resulting perkier and shapely breasts.

Breast lift, however, does not result to an increase in breast size. No implants are inserted into your breasts to make it look bigger. Usually, breast lifts are sought after by women who have sagging breasts caused by pregnancy or age.

  1. Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Other Non-Invasive “Breast Enlargement” Treatments

In Singapore, there are a lot of salons and spas that promise instant “breast enlargement” treatments. These include herbal breast therapies, suction cups and even breast enhancement via laser technology.

Unfortunately, breast enhancement that will result to increase in size can only be achieved by surgery and insertion of breast implants. Do not fall for scams that offer miracle treatments—ones that will only waste your money and will leave you disappointed.

Part 3: Debunking myths on breast enhancement surgery.

While breast enhancement surgery have gained popularity among a lot of women in the recent years, there are a lot of myths and hearsay circling around that intimidate other people from getting breast enhancement. You might have heard rumors from friends or heard from someone else or read something online about botched jobs.

Here are some of the most popular myths about breast enhancement and the truths behind them:

  1. Breastfeeding is not possible/allowed after breast enhancement surgery.

Truth: Breastfeeding is still very possible even after breast enhancement surgery or with breast implants. This is still possible if your doctor does not cut off your milk ducts. Your doctor can make an incision under your boobs to make breastfeeding possible.

You do not have to worry about getting pregnant even if you have existing breast implants. Breastfeeding is sage because silicone cannot mix with breastmilk. The only issue you may encounter is slight inflammation of breasts during breastfeeding. Women with very large breast implants may have reduce milk production.

  1. Breast implants will make your breasts look fake.

Truth: Breast enhancement surgery done by an experienced and well-trained plastic surgeon will look and feel natural. However, it will take weeks (even months) takes time to achieve natural-looking breasts. As discussed previously, the breast implants will take time to settle and your breast may sit high during the first few months. During the 6th month mark, expect your breasts to be natural-looking. The softness will be alike natural breasts.

Remember, your breast enhancement doctor will play a significant role in recommending the right breast implants and the proper procedure tailored just for you.

  1. Breast implants will cause a loss of breast sensitivity.

Truth: Unless your surgeon chooses to have the incision on the nipple area, loss of breast sensitivity is very rare. Usually, some patients feel a little numbness or oversensitivity on the nipples right after breast enhancement surgery and return to normal over time. Some patients do not even any change at all. It will really vary from person to person.

  1. You have to avoid certain food types after breast enhancement surgery.

Truth: There is no scientific basis for this claim.  Patients can eat whatever they want after surgery. However, if you have allergies to general anaesthesia or other medications, better inform your doctor firsthand to avoid complications during and after the operation.

  1. You have to replace the implants every now and then.

Truth:  As discussed earlier, the newer generation of breast implants are specially designed to last for a lifetime. Unless on occasions where there are ruptures detected or you manage to develop complications and infections, the implants are required to be removed.