Breast augmentation may be relatively commonplace today, but most people probably do not know much about them. To satisfy your curiosity, Here are 5 somewhat obscure, but interesting facts about breast implants that your plastic surgeon might not tell you!
The history of breast implants
Before modern, medical grade silicone and saline implants were commonplace, medical practitioners have experimented with a variety of different materials to be used in breast augmentation. In the early 1900s, some materials that were used include glass balls, paraffin, ground rubber, or even ox cartilage! Needless to say, most of these resulted in severe complications. In the 1950s, silicone gel was first used in breast augmentation by direct injection into the breast tissue, which caused serious complications as well. The first breast implant with a tough silicone shell and silicone gel or saline filling was only introduced in 1961 by American plastic surgeons Dr Thomas Cronin and Dr Frank Gerow. Their invention was a breakthrough in plastic surgery, making breast augmentation a much safer procedure. Over the years, breast implants have gradually improved in quality to be both safer and feel more natural, eventually evolving into the high-quality, modern implants offered Brands like Motiva and Mentor today.
Do breast implants float on water?
A quick google search on the topic will quickly tell you that silicone gel is denser than water, and should sink in the water. To investigate this, we placed some breast implants in the water for an experiment.
To our surprise, the implants float when placed in the water, when silicone gel is supposed to sink. The most possible explanation for this possibly lies the shape of the implants. The convex shape of the implant possibly allows the implant to displace sufficient water to keep it buoyant, similar to how a gigantic, heavy ships can float in water.
Whatever is the case, this does not mean that having breast implants will increase/decrease your buoyancy. Most women with breast implants do not experience any noticeable changes in their experience with swimming or other water activities. In fact, high-quality implants inserted by an experienced and skilled surgeon should not cause you any inconvenience in your daily activities
Regardless, you should not expect your breast implants to save you from drowning in any situation. Even if they do float on water, most implants simply do not provide enough buoyancy to replace a life buoy or life jacket.
Breast implants are much more durable than you would expect.
Breast implants may look flimsy, as fundamentally they are just bags of gel in a soft outer shell. However, many will be surprised by just how durable breast implants are. The fact is, most modern high-grade implants, especially from reputable brands like Mentor and Motiva, are much tougher than they look and will not rupture easily.
To put this to the test, we experimented on this some of these implants to investigate just how durable they are. Firstly, we stretched the implant to more than twice its diameter, and it easily returned to its original shape unscathed. Secondly, it takes considerable force to both puncture the implant shell and slice it open, even when using a shape blade. Considering that it is unlikely for inserted breast implant to experience more stress than the above most day to day life, the chances of an implant rupturing are small and of little to no worry.
Nevertheless, we should not entirely dismiss the possibility of a ruptured implant, as it is still possible, albeit highly unlikely to occur
What does the filling of the breast implant look and feel like?
Not everyone would have the chance to see a breast implant, and even less people would have the luxury of seeing one cut open.
If you are expecting the silicone gel to leak out when the implant is cut, you will be surprised. The gel is so viscous and sticky that it will remain in the same shape as before without leaking. In fact, it is not easy to separate the gel from the exterior shell.
Rather describing it in words, let us show you a video.
Breast implants can save your life!
Most people would not have expected that a breast augmentation procedure would turn out to be a “Life-saving Surgery”. In fact, a 30-year old woman in Canada was probably just as surprised as everyone else when her breast implants saved her from a potentially lethal gunshot to her chest.
As mentioned before, the silicone shell of breast implants is incredibly durable, and the silicone gel filling similar density and consistency as natural breast tissue. Based on these, it is theoretically possible for the implant to deflect a bullet, and this incident is possibly the first recorded instance of an actual deflection.
Based on accounts of doctors and researchers investigating the case, the bullet had swerved significantly off its original path, missing the vital organs. According to them, the only possible explanation was that the silicone implant had deflected the bullet, saving the victim from a potentially fatal encounter.
As interesting as this incident is, it is unlikely to happen in Singapore as firearms are illegal here. But who knows? One day your breast implants may just save you in unexpected ways.
“Breast augmentation with breast implants is a safe procedure if performed by qualified surgeons. Breast implants can be used for cosmetic augmentation of the breast, reconstruction of the breast or to correct any asymmetry. It will improve the balance of your body image and improve yourself confidence!” – Dr. Timothy Shim, Senior Consultant Plastic Surgeon