Monitoring your breast implants can be costly and inconvenient, but that may all change with the advent of new monitoring procedures that could make the process far more efficient.
The Aesthetic Surgery Journal, partially funded by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), has released a study that explores the potential use of new portable, high-resolution ultrasound imaging technology to monitor the status of silicone breast implants.
The report's lead author, Bradley Bengston, MD, found that, "portable, surgeon-performed, high-resolution ultrasound is feasible for screening silicone gel breast implants, matching the capabilities of MRI in detecting shell failure."
Keeping a close eye on the integrity of silicone gel breast implants is an important breast augmentation maintenance, because unlike saline-filled breast implants, silicone gel implant failure is not as noticeable, and the implant may even maintain its shape after springing a leak.
Currently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the primary method of assessing the integrity of silicone implants. However, MRIs are costly, impractical, and can take time to book an appointment for a scan. This new ultrasound technology would offer comparable results to the MRI, but would be less expensive to use, and could be done in a doctor's office.
According to Felmon Eaves, Clinical Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-author of this study, the technology could be used for more than just implant screening.
"This office-based technology may also have broader applications, such as hand and facial fracture identification and treatment, vein surgery and ablation, visualization prior to shaped implant rotation, identification and management of seroma, and general breast evaluation," said Eaves.
The study is still ongoing, and will focus on calibrating the sensitivity of the technology, as well as ways to improve breast implant designs.
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