Biomaterials Breast Implants Research Paper

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Breast Implants

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Biomaterials (Breast Implants)

A biomaterial is any natural or man-made material, which forms part or whole of a living structure or biomedical device, and meant to perform, complement or replace a natural function (San Jose State University, 2009). Biomaterials fall under physical, biological and chemical sciences and their clinical disciplines (Biomaterials International Journal, 2011). These sciences span polymer synthesis and characterization, drug and gene vector design, the biology of the host response, immunology and toxicology and self-assembly at the nanoscale. Biomaterials are used as therapies of medical technology and regenerative medicine in all clinical disciplines and diagnostic systems, which rely on innovative contract and sensing agents (Biomaterials International Journal). Silicone is the biomaterial used in many biomedical applications, popularly breast implants for breast reconstruction.

Breast Reconstruction

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Most women undergoing mastectomy may opt for breast reconstruction, such as breast implants and latissimus dorsi flaps (Fentiman & Hamed, 2006). The more sophisticated is the transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous or TRAM flap-based reconstruction as an immediate reconstruction performed by plastic surgeons. The technique depends on the patient's body build, coexisting medical conditions and probable need for postoperative radiotherapy as part of treatment. A patient should have a realistic expectation of the outcome, which is that the reconstructed breast will neither feel nor function as a normal breast. It will only help restore body contours and personal confidence (Fentiman & Hamed).

Breast Implants for Reconstruction

Research Paper on Biomaterials Breast Implants Assignment

This involves inserting an inflatable implant into the submuscular pocket (Fentiman & Hamed, 2006). The implant material is inflated during surgery. In the succeeding weeks, it is gradually expanded with normal saline until the desired volume is reached. It is temporarily over-expanded in order to produce ptosis. The aim is to bring the reconstruction to match the untreated breast as closely as possible (Fentiman & Hamed).

Current Technique for Breast Implants

This requires more than one operation and extends to many months (Shons & Mosiello, 2001). Breast implants are the choice of as many as three-fourths of patients. It begins with the placing of tissue expander below the pectoralis muscle and laterally below the anterior of the serratus anterior muscle. The tissue expander is a saline-filled container into which saline can be added in stages after the implant surgery. Some fluid is placed into it at the time of insertion. The patient usually stays in the hospital overnight in case of immediate reconstruction. Delayed reconstruction is performed on an outpatient basis after mastectomy (Shons & Mosiello).

Healing is expected to complete in 3 to 4 weeks from surgery (Shons & Mosiello, 2001). Volumes of saline at 60 mL per visit are added usually on a weekly basis. The tissue expander is removed. Permanent implant is performed at least three months after or upon the completion of chemotherapy. The tissue expander is removed and the permanent implant placed on an outpatient basis. The permanent implant may be filled with saline or silicone gel. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration restricted the use of silicone gel-filled implants for breast augmentation in 1992. Since then, they have been available only under protocol from companies and only for reconstructive purposes (Shons & Mosiello).

A case study is a professional woman who undergoes breast implant surgery in order to have a shapely figure (Virginia Breast, 2009). She works out and lifts weights and wants a naturally shapely look. She is 36 years old, 5'6" high and weighs 117 pounds. Her precup size is 34A, new cup size is 34D and implant size is 275 cc (Virginia Breast).

Complexities

One major problem is that implants may induce strong fibrous reaction to capsular contracture, which produces pain and an abnormal shape (Fentiman & Hamed, 2006). This is likelier to form in women with smooth than those with textured implants, according to studies. Another major concern is that breast implants may hide breast cancers, induce them or increase the risk of connective tissue disorders. Two separate studies found these concerns to be untrue. One was a case-control study of 23 women who developed breast cancer following breast augmentation with an implant. A comparison with 11 age-matched controls showed no delayed diagnosis of breast cancer or advancement in women with implants. Another was a follow-up study of 2,174 cases, which showed a likelihood of reduced relative risk at 0.6. A Swedish… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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