Does Shape Matter?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has recently released data of patient-reported outcomes on satisfaction after breast augmentation surgery. The ASPS used the BREAST-Q questionnaire to evaluate overall outcome, satisfaction, sexuality, self-esteem, and physical health in 128 women who underwent breast reconstruction surgery. One of the main issues they wanted to address was whether or not outcome and level of satisfaction differed between women who received round silicone implants instead of the shaped versions.
Despite the initial concerns about increased rates of skin wrinkling, it was discovered that patients reported virtually equal satisfaction levels with both round and shaped silicone implants. Researchers have concluded that there is no significant difference in long-term reported outcomes between the two groups. Most of the women who completed the questionnaire had breast reconstruction surgery right after mastectomy.
Shaped silicone implants are relatively new in European and Canadian markets and have just been approved for use in the United States this year. They were initially criticized because it was thought that the rate of rippling, wrinkling, and other surface skin changes was more severe with this type of product. They are also noted to be firmer than the round style and have a textured surface, which may or may not be a trait that the patient desires. The more traditional round version has been used for years in the United States with stable results.
This information is valuable to patients and physicians during pre-surgery discussions. Physicians will be better able to guide patient choices when it comes to implant material, size, and shape. Patients will be better able to gauge long-term satisfaction and align their expectations with scientifically proven results. This research was helpful as the United States was in the process of approving shaped implants for nationwide use.