Effects of Silicone Implants on the Mammary Gland: Ultrasonographic and 3D Study
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Breast implants may be responsible for secondary deformities produced by parenchymal atrophy. However, few studies in the literature have reported changes in breast tissue after augmentation surgery. In this study, the breast thickness of patients undergoing breast augmentation was monitored by ultrasound, and correlations with surface, volume and projection measurements were examined.
We studied the parenchymal thickness at the lower pole of the breast with ultrasound in 36 women (72 breasts). In another group of 33 patients (66 breasts), we studied the thickness at the upper and lower poles along the meridian of each breast by ultrasound and measured the anthropometric metrics, volume and projection of the breast with a 3D camera.
Midline measurements close to the areola showed reduced thickness at the lower pole, with 31.8% at the midpoint of the lower pole and 42% at the infra-areolar level (p < 0.0001). At the upper pole, there was a decrease of 14.6% (p < 0.001), but the thickness was increased by 6% and 38% at more cranial levels. No correlations with volume were found. Anatomical implants produced more atrophy at the lower pole, and round implants at the upper pole. More atrophy was found with subfascial than submuscular augmentation. Compared with the expected values, the final volume was very similar, but the projection was 29% less. Surface measurements changed significantly up to 4 months postoperatively and remained stable thereafter.
Implants affect significatively the thickness of the glandular tissue. All changes occur very soon postoperatively but stabilize after 4 months.
Level of Evidence IV
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KeywordsBreast augmentation Breast implants Breast atrophy Ultrasonography 3D
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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