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Breast Implant Valve Scarring

Differentiating  the variety of breast implants on the market for women in Houston can be a challenge given the many types and varieties there are to choose.  We regularly discuss those differences in the products we use for our patients’ needs here at our blog post.  Today, we will focus solely on the appearance, safety, and benefits of breast implants that have valves.

Valves have changed over the years of breast implant augmentation surgeries.  A few types of valves (like the leaf valve, not often used in today’s implants) have nearly been phased out of production given issues of trauma or reoccurance of malfunction.  Other breast implant valve types are the the kink valve and the diaphragm valve.  It is significant to mention that none of these valves are found on gel silicone implants. They are found on saline implants and they allow the doctor to adjust the fluid content in the breast when trauma occurs to the implant.

These valves types are primarily self-sealing and close automatically when the fill tube is removed–the most common variety being the diaphragm valve.  Additionally, there is a small plug that covers these valves.  This plug serves only to cover the site and reduce the risk that tissue will grow into the valve and possibly damage it or cause skin discomfort or irritation.

Still, even with these safety devices in place, to those particularly thin individuals, the valve may sometimes be confused with a small mass or like a lump in the breast.  The valve may have become palpable by shifting or caused mild subcutaneous scarring.  This happens especially with sub-glandular placement (over the muscle).

Typically those that may encounter this problem are individuals with less sub-glandular breast tissue pre-operative and those with low body fat or those who are thin-skinned.  For the majority of individuals with regular skin types, this rarely occurs and is generally not an issue.  Given the reduction in saline leakage and the switch by manufacturers to more dependable valves like the diaphragm valve, the patient has seen a reduction in these issues occurring.  However, if you are a woman with breast implants in Houston who has recently discovered a lump in the breast, contact your doctor immediately for evaluation.  Only they will be able to clarify for sure the difference between valve scarring and something that may have more serious ramifications.  

Ask your doctor which type of breast implant suits your needs and body type.  If you decide to choose a saline implant, determine what model type with valve variety is best for your body type and method of surgical insertion.  

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