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Chest Implants

The fact is that some body types do not achieve chest muscle tone and definition as easily as others. Even with exercise, some men will not be able to see the desired results simply from working out the chest area. The pectoral implant procedure is designed to increase the chest size and shape by inserting implants made of solid silicone under the real muscle.

In other instances, underdevelopment of the muscles in the chest can be a result of a growth defect or injury. In these instances, pectoral implants can create or recreate a natural looking chest area. Like many other cosmetic enhancements, this procedure gives men a chance to aesthetically enhance an area of the body through surgery when no other alternatives are available or desirable.

If you’re considering a pectoral implant, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure.

What are some of the most common benefits of chest implants?

Male pectoral implants are designed to define and shape the chest area. In men who cannot achieve desired results through exercise, the surgery can give the existing muscles a toned, enhanced look. For patients with congenital defects or loss of muscle in an accident or injury, the pectoral implant procedure can often reproduce a natural and symmetrical chest area.

Pectoral implants can help build self-confidence in individuals who were once embarrassed by their appearance. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, the result is the athletic, natural appearance of a more well-proportioned torso.

What will happen at the initial consultation?

During the consultation, you and Dr. Harris will discuss the changes that you would like to make in your appearance. He will explain the different options available to you, the procedure itself, and its risks and limitations. Dr. Harris will also explain the kind of anesthesia required, surgical facility, and costs.

Dr. Harris will begin with a complete medical history and examine your chest area, he also takes photos, and give you specific instructions preparing for surgery, including guidelines for eating and drinking, smoking and taking or avoiding vitamins, supplements and medications.

Dr. Harris may also discuss the different shapes and sizes of pectoral implants that are available. Some patients may choose pre-shaped implants. Others, especially those with an accident or birth defect, may choose to have a custom implant made. This may delay the surgery. It generally takes six to eight weeks to create the implant based on a mold of the chest area. In some cases, Dr. Harris may choose to take a standard implant, and carve it into the desired size and shape. Dr. Harris will help you pick out the one that is best for the shape and size of your muscles. The goal is an implant that will appear as natural and realistic as possible. Be sure to tell Dr. Harris if you have had previous implant surgery, if you smoke, or if you take any drugs or medications, including aspirin, and if you have a tendency to form large scars or keloids.

Take this opportunity to ask all the questions you have about the surgery, and ask to see photos of the recent patients, before and after surgery. You can also ask for, and follow up on, patient references. Learning everything you can about your options, risks and benefits is the key to making an informed decision.

How is pectoral implant surgery performed?

Prior to the actual procedure, the surgeon may show you the different shapes and sizes of implants that are available. Together, you will pick one that forms naturally to the curves and shape of your existing muscles.

Dr. Harris often begins pectoral implant surgery by making a small incision in the armpit or in the inframamary crease, and then inserts the implant endoscopically. Endoscopic surgery involves using a thin tube with a very small camera on the end in order to guide the doctor through the patient’s body with a great amount of precision. This method reduces incision size as well as bleeding. Non-endoscopic methods are sometimes preferred.

Following the path of the incision, Dr. Harris places the implants under the pectoral muscle. The incisions are then sutured and the surgery is complete. The implants are held in place by the overlying chest muscle or by sutures that are temporarily visible through the skin

How long does the surgery take?

Pectoral implant surgery usually takes between one and two hours to complete and is typically done under a general anesthesia. Endoscopic techniques sometimes take longer.

Where will the surgery be performed?

Pectoral implant surgery is done at our surgical suite. Most pectoral implants are performed under general anesthesia, so that you will not be awake during the procedure.

Typically, pectoral implant surgery is done on an outpatient basis. This means that you will be able to go home almost immediately afterward.

How much pain is there?

The amount of pain experienced varies from person to person, and depends on the method used. In general, pectoral implant procedures take advantage of the endoscope to reduce bleeding and incision size, and the amount of pain, therefore, may be lessened in endoscopic surgeries. You should discuss your goals, budget, and pain tolerance with Dr. Harris in order to help him determine the procedure, or combination of procedures, that will produce the best results for you.

What can I expect after surgery?

Some surgeons do no apply incision dressings or drains after the surgery, Dr. Harris uses a very small drain to prevent fluid collection, it is removed 5 – 7 days after the surgery.Most patients will wear an elastic bandage or vest to reduce swelling.

However, patients who undergo pectoral implant surgery usually experience mild to moderate amount of pain in the days following the procedure. Soreness and bruising are common and should fade within a week or so. Dr. Harris prescribes oral medication to lessen the pain. Aspirin should be avoided as it may promote more bleeding and bruising. By the second week after the procedure, most individuals will be able to resume normal, everyday activities.

What is the recovery period like?

Full recovery from pectoral implant surgery can take as long as six weeks. However, most patients are able to resume all activities within a month.

What is the long-term outcome like for most people?

Most people are pleased with the results of pectoral implants. The implants themselves are designed to last a lifetime. Barring significant complications, secondary surgery is rarely needed. The results of pectoral implant surgery are different for every individual. Remember that depending on your body shape and size, having the biggest implant may not be the most desirable option. Always discuss the changes that you want with Dr. Alfredo Harris in order to make sure that they are reasonable and achievable.

Other information

In some cases, pectoral implants can be combined with liposuction in order to create optimal results. The fat around the chest area may be removed before the implants are inserted. The combination of these two procedures can give the implants a greater amount of definition.

Many patients become concerned with the similarities between male and female breast implants. It should be noted that the pectoral implants are not made from the same silicone material used in female implants. For men, the material is actually a solid yet soft material (similar to the material often used in athletic mouthguards) that cannot leak or break.

Risks and limitations

Bleeding from the cut tissues, leading to bruising and possible accumulations of blood under the skin, is unavoidable in any surgery. It is due to the great skill of today’s surgeons that these problems are rare. Complications are usually minor when a pectoral implant surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon.

Unlike female breast implant surgery, pectoral implants do not carry the risk of breaking and/or leaking. The silicone implant used for men is soft but solid (not filled with liquid).

In some cases, extensive bleeding and infection may occur. Such side effects are fairly uncommon. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

There is also a slight risk of implant displacement. If the implant moves or is not held in place correctly by the pectoral muscle, further surgery may be required. In extreme cases, the implant may need to be removed permanently.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.

Remember that, while pectoral implants affect the way that your chest muscles look, they do not affect the function. Movement and activity should not be restricted or hindered after full recovery. On the other hand, the silicone implants in no way add strength or power to the existing muscles.

Important note

Cigarette smoking decreases blood flow to the skin and tissues, increasing the risk of poor healing, and skin sloughing, scabbing or crusting. Smoking may lead to permanent scarring as well.