Titanium Breast Implants: The Ultimate Underwire
By Janice Fitch
Published on May 14, 2007
Hard-bodied female robots have been movie theater mainstays for years. More often than not, these animatronic seductresses feature exceptionally firm, large, and lifted breasts. Now that a German cosmetic surgeon has developed a breast implant technique which uses titanium mesh to support silicone breast implants, real women can get in on the action with breasts that are stronger than steel.
Dr. Ziya Saylan, president of the European Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, developed this new breast implant technology in response to his patients’ desire for firm, perky breasts after weight loss or childbirth. The breast implants themselves are still made of soft silicone gel, but they are supported by titanium mesh. This mesh is used to create small, flexible metal baskets which are used to hold silicone implants in place and prevent them from drooping.
Titanium breast baskets are not quite as bizarre as they may sound. Titanium is a fully biocompatible material already used in other breeds of implants, including dental implants, hip balls and sockets, and orthopedic implants. The relative flexibility and lack of tissue damage associated with titanium make it ideal for a variety of medical applications, and many European plastic surgery patients who have opted for this treatment have no complaints.
Natascha Bruel, a secretary from Dusseldorf who underwent breast augmentation with the titanium mesh, describes it as an internal bra which supports and lifts her breasts from the inside out. “[Dr. Saylan] told me about the bra because my breasts were hanging down,” she said. “I have not had any pain or trouble with metal detectors after the surgery, and now my breasts are firm and good-looking.” According to Dr. Saylan, bras are unnecessary and should in fact be avoided after this type of breast augmentation procedure. Despite the apparent lack of serious health risks, many cosmetic surgeons are waiting for data to support the long-term safety and efficacy of the titanium mesh.
Cosmetic surgeons are working on new ways to incorporate titanium into breast cosmetic surgery to reduce the risk of capsular contracture, a post-operative complication involving a poor reaction to the implant and hardening of the breasts. Besides Dr. Saylan’s breast baskets, plastic surgeons have tested implants coated with an extremely thin layer of titanium to reduce the risk of implant leakage. Though titanium breast implants may sound strange now, this technology may prove to be the future of breast implants.