Adjustable breast implants gaining popularity

October 3, 2011

Adjustable breast implants gaining popularity
Adjustable breast implants gaining popularity

When it comes to breast augmentation surgery, deciding whether to opt for silicone or saline is not the only consideration patients must think about. Size is often the biggest consideration.

Some doctors are now recommending adjustable breast implants for those who may not be sure just how big or small they want their breasts to be.

"A woman comes in with one idea where she wants to be," a Chicago-based plastic surgeon who is a proponent of the adjustable implants recently told the Herald-News. "But after a couple of months when the swelling settles down, she might wish the size was bigger … With the adjustable breast implants, we have the luxury of coming in three months later and asking, 'Where do we stand now?'"

Instead of deciding on a size before the surgery and hoping for the best result, doctors who use adjustable implants place a small port that connects to the implant underneath the skin. If the patient decides to go a little bit bigger, the plastic surgeon injects additional saline into the implant. If she wants a little less volume, the doctor removes some.

"With adjustable breast implants, you can adjust the implant size postoperatively, up to 20 percent of its original size," a Philadelphia plastic surgeon told ABC News. "It's a fantastic way to control the breast size postoperatively, because people do change their minds."

He added that a patient who changes her mind about the size of her breast implants must undergo another surgery if she opted for a traditional breast augmentation surgery.

Changes can be made when the initial swelling subsides, around three months after the surgery, until about six months post-surgery. At that point, the port is removed through an outpatient procedure done under a local anesthetic

"It has become a lot more popular nationally the last couple of years," a Chicago based plastic surgeon told the Herald-News. "The reality is, you really can't go wrong. You can see them in the mirror and can have the size changed as many times as you want in the window of those three months … I think this is all positive."

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), breast augmentation remained the most popular surgical procedure performed by plastic surgeons last year, with more than 318,000 individuals undergoing the surgery.

The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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