Breast Implants: Is Bigger Better?

Published: Monday | November 7, 2011

 

Sacha Walters-Gregory, Staff Reporter

Getting breast implants often gets a bad reputation, but for two professional women, who did the procedure months ago, it was the shot of confidence they always wanted.

"I’d been considering it for over 20 years," said 50 year-old Sharon, who always liked the shape of her breasts, just not the size.

She never liked wearing brassieres or the way her breasts didn’t fill out her tops.

"I realised that I liked the way they looked during pregnancy," said the mother of two. But pregnancy would also help to further convince her that implants were the way to go. Two children, long periods of breastfeeding, age and gravity took their toll on her breasts and they sagged.

Similarly Janice, who is 37, said after her son was born last year, her already small breasts became basically just nipples.

"I’ve always had a beautiful petite body, but no boobs," she said, explaining she moved from a 32A cup before her surgery to a 34 C cup.

"So they are perfect. They’re medium. If you look at me you wouldn’t know I had boob job," she said explaining that she was already familiar with this cup size as she used to buy bras of this size, pad them and wear them under her clothes.

Concerns

Both women said not all family members were in agreement with the procedure, but both said their procedures were not done on a whim. Their decisions were backed with years of research and a careful selection of a professional.

"I also checked to see that my health was in top condition," said Sharon further expounding that a detailed family health history was also taken into consideration.

Sharon took comfort in the competency of Jamaican doctors with such procedures. "I was a little nervous, but I said to myself that my doctor has done hundreds and he has a 99 per cent success rate," she said. She was surprised upon research, by the number of women who come from overseas to have the procedure done here.

Janice also admitted to being nervous, but never thought of changing her mind, even when her partner reminded her she could do so.

She told him, "Whatever happens to me today, if I die, I will die happy knowing that what I did was right," she said. She explained that there was a minor scare during her procedure as she woke up during the operation, "they almost lost me, but thank God, that didn’t happen."

Both women said there was one friend who had successfully done the procedure who encouraged them to go ahead.

Information from WebMD says there are a number of things that women should do when getting breast implants.

"According to the current research, there aren’t significant differences in the safety of silicone and saline implants," according to the health site, but ruptures can occur with both.

"Ruptures might be caused by surgical error, or a fall, or even – very rarely – the pressure exerted on the breast during a mammogram," the website said.

"Saline implant ruptures are easy to spot. The breast rapidly changes shape over days as the fluid leaks out." However, if a saline implant breaks, all that leaks out is salt water which is harmlessly absorbed into the body.

"Ruptures of silicone breast implants are often ‘silent’ – patients and doctors may not notice them. They can only be detected by MRI. For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration recommends that women with silicone implants get an MRI three years after implantation and once every two years after that," explained the website.

The older the breast implant is increases the likelihood of rupture. The website also explained that there is no definitive answer as to how long a breast implant lasts, it’s just certain that they will need to be replaced over time.

Additionally, "Breast implants can change shape because the tissue around the implant hardens, a condition called capsular contracture, and only surgery can rectify this.

"Some studies suggest that breast implants can make breastfeeding more difficult or impossible. They may prevent a woman from producing milk. Breast implants can also interfere with the accuracy of mammograms that screen for breast cancer."

For Sharon and Janice, the long wait for their procedures was well worth it.

"I did it for me and I have no regrets. Apart from my son, it’s the best gift God has given me," said Janice.

"A lot of persons think it’s vanity, but it really makes you more confident," said Sharon.

Names changed on condition of anonymity.

sacha.walters@gleanerjm.com