breast implant

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A prosthesis to replace breast tissue that has been removed surgically during a simple mastectomy in the treatment of breast cancer. The type of implant in current use is a silicone sac filled with silicone gel; it has recently been found that coating the sac with polyurethane to give a textured surface reduces the incidence of fibrosis around the implant and consequent hardening of breast tissue. Alternatively, an implant with a soya-oil filling may be used. The implant is inserted subcutaneously at the time of operation (the skin and nipple are retained), and follow-up radiotherapy is not normally required. Implants are also used to augment existing breast tissue.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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