Q: How safe is breast augmentation? How long does an implant last? What do I need to know before I decide to proceed with this procedure?

Breast augmentation means increasing the size and improving the shape of the breasts. A silicone-filled implant is used either in front or behind the muscle to enlarge the breasts. The modern implants are safe as they do not leak and have gel-based consistency, also called ‘gummy bear’ implants.

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Upon consultation with your plastic surgeon, he/she will examine you in detail to understand your expectations, tissue condition and medical health. An ultrasonography or mammography is performed based on the age and medical history.

The most important things to know prior include size and shape of implant, placement of implant, operation time, recovery time and risks involved.

The size and shape is selected based on your anatomy and dimensions; reasonable-sized implants as recommended by a doctor give a natural result that are long-term.

Excessively large implants may have consequences such as tissue thinning and sagging.

The placement of implants is based on thickness of body fat in the chest region; however, positioning them behind the chest muscle is considered safer and long-lasting.

The surgery time is short – usually 45 minutes to an hour. In most cases an overnight hospital stay is required. The recovery period may extend from six days to two weeks.

Breast implant surgery carries risks similar to any other surgical procedure. Choose an experienced surgeon and a centre that is well reputed.

One of the risks that people relate to implants are breast cancer. Implants per se do not cause breast cancer, but it can cause immunological reactions in body tissue leading to a malignant condition called BIA-ALCL (breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma).

It is a kind of lymphoma that has been found in a small number of cases worldwide. It is curable if detected early. Hence, it is recommended to have regular follow-ups after the operation, including an MRI examination every few years.

Dr Sanjay Parashar is plastic surgeon at Cocoona Centre for Aesthetic Transformation, Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.