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 Post subject: Breast implants for Sri Lankan women
 Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 3:11 am 
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Silicone Valley
Breast implants for Sri Lankan women

3 May 2005 14:56 hours
-LBO Newsdesk

Well endowed Sri Lankan women rarely go the silicone way to grow their bust size. But new implants on the market have just opened all options for women wanting to pad up the front line.

Sri Lanka has just nine plastic surgeons to its credit, with bulk of the work still in liposuction than nose or chin jobs, facelifts, breast or rear implants to enhance shape and size.

That has not stopped some five to six women and at times men, going to India or Singapore every month for some kind of plastic surgery or another.

Breast implants have come a long way from first generation thick silicone shells in the 1960’s with risks of silicone seeping out or gel ‘bleed’ into the surrounding tissue.
Now, they come in a mix of thin, fixed volume silicone or filled with saline to a desired size, smooth or textured for feel and even rounded or pear shaped for the right drop.

Tissue expanded prosthetics can also be used for an incremental increase of volume by injecting just the right amount of silicone for a bigger, better feel.

But don’t think Cher or Pamela Anderson just yet. Most Sri Lankan women opting for the cut, choose to actually reduce breast size than grow it.

“Breast reductions are the more common operations. It varies, but I may do about 12 to 15 reductions in a year, and maybe about two enhancements,” Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Narendra Wijemanne said.

“South Asian women are pretty well built on the average and Sri Lankan women are quite well endowed. If you look at Far Eastern women they are small breasted so there is obviously a bigger demand for prosthetics,” Wijemanne says.

Not all are for purely cosmetic reasons. Reconstructive breast surgery is being done on women who have suffered breast cancer, to corrective surgery for asymmetrical or under-developed breasts.

“Don’t go away with the idea that breast implants are just cosmetic. There are a lot of asymmetrical breasts, several deformities like hypo plastic or almost absent breasts,” Wijemanne says.

Runaway popularity for cosmetic implants has not quite happened yet, not just because of some good Sri Lankan genes, but also the trend in local implant surgery.

Implants are still a virgin market, and locals are still to latch on to the idea of improving look and shape of breasts as a feel good factor, and market potential is difficult to gauge.

“We used to discourage operations for cosmetic enhancements because of the cost of doing it locally and the lack of availability of prosthetics. It is costly to ship the prosthetics from abroad,” Plastic Surgeon Dr. Dulip Perera said.

Getting enhancements done could cost up to a million rupees overseas, doctors say, but it can be done in Sri Lanka for less than 25 percent of the price tag. The problem up to now however, has been the availability of prosthetics.

Up to now, prosthetics have either been smuggled in, in not so sterile conditions, or brought into the country by people wanting to get it done.

CIC Healthcare has just got its range of implants from nose and face prosthetics to silicon for scar removal and breast implants registered locally with the Cosmetic Devices & Drugs Authority, making it the only legal supplier of implants.

“We are positioning it in two segments – For cosmetic reasons and medical products for burns like tissue expanders or silicone blocks,” CIC Healthcare & Personal Care Brand Manager, Priya Dissanayake said.

Silicone implants range in cost from about Rs. 7,000 for a nose implant to between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 150,000 for breast implants, based on type. Dissanayake expects roughly Rs. 2 mn in sales in the first year.

“There are people who can benefit highly from having prosthetics available, for their psychological well being. There are so many people who go away emotionally traumatised due to these defects that can now be nicely re-constructed,” Wijemanne said.

Neither is the surgery too complicated. “Surgery merely creates a pocket in the right area, either just below the surface or under the muscle and the implant is slotted in.”

Silicone is also one of the most tissue compatible with almost no health risks. But complications to watch out for could include deflation, silicon leakage, rupture or displacement of the implant.

“Silicone is highly tissue compatible. But you cannot give a patient a prosthetic that is for life. A prosthetic like any other mechanical device can have problems,” Wijemanne warned.

-LBO Newsdesk: lboemail@vanguardlk.com

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