Not all Breast Implants are Created Equal

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

As indicated in the blog last week there are a number of breast implant options available to you in regard to cosmetic breast augmentation.  Implants have used for breast augmentation since the 1960’s and have since gone through generational research and development changes leading us to the implants available today.   The implants developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s were prone to complications mainly due to their liquid silicone fill. These problems lead to silicone implants being withdrawn from the Unied States market from 1992-2006 after government pressure. The problematic implants were subsequently replaced with improved implants that addressed the earlier faults. In New Zealand we did not have this issue of silicone implants being removed from the market and as such New Zealand Plastic Surgeons have significant experience with silicone implants.  It was interesting working in Los Angeles and attending conferences in the United States in that United States Plastic Surgeons still prefer to use saline implants simply because their experience and training has predominately been with saline implants.  However, there is now a trend towards more silicone filled implants being used in the United States.


The most exciting change in implants have been the use of silicone cohesive gel as a filler.  It has a very natural feel and similar density to natural breast tissue but because it is cohesive the leakage issue has been all but eliminated.  All silicone implants have a silicone shell and there is a choice between a smooth and textured shell.  The tesxtured shell was developed in an effort to minimise capsular contracture  development. The theory with texturing implant surfaces is that they disorganise the capsule formation creating a thinner and more pliable capsule . There are varying degrees of texturing available from different implant manufacturers. Another surface option used to produce low rates of capsular contracture is to coat implants with polyurethane foam. Implant companies that currently supply the New Zealand market include Silimed, Allergan, Mentor, Eurosilicone and Nagor. All have interesting points of interest and Plastic Surgeons have their own particular likes and dislikes.  It pays to be well informed about the implants being used, not only in regard to the implant shell or whether the fill is silicone or saline, but also of the implant size in regard to volume, diameter and projection and whether the implant is round or anatomically shaped. Anatomical implants tend to be used in augmentation situations where there is no or very little breast tissue pre-operatively.  In these situations, breast shape is determined by the anatomically shaped implant. If a round implant was used in these situations it would create a rounded undesirable appearance.  In situations where the patient has a moderate amount of breast tissue or has lost breast volume after post breast feeding, pregnancy or weight loss then a round implant may be a better option.


I hope this information has been useful to you for when you consult your Plastic Surgeon to discuss your breast augmentation surgery.  If you have any further queries or comments regarding breast augmentation feel free to contact me at


Breast Augmentation – Why it is Sensible to be Proportionate

“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.

Breast Augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed in New Zealand and around the world.  We have all seen images of TV celebrities and celebrity wannabes who have had surgery to enhance their breasts to unusual and sometimes ridiculous and gargantuan proportions.  Thankfully this media coverage has resulted in useful social commentary such that patients now typically request natural and proportionate breast augmentation appearances.  The emphasis is on a look that is proportionate, natural and ultimately believable.  Obviously fake breasts are definitely on their way out.  Where I was working in Los Angeles in 2005-2006 there was a definite trend for women requesting smaller implants and also for women previously augmented with disproportionately large implants requesting revisional surgery to decrease their size to more natural dimensions. If large implants are used to create an overly enhanced unnatural look they can cause premature ageing and drooping of breasts, which may in the future necessitate revisional surgery such as implant exchange or combined with a breast list procedure. The size of implant chosen depends on a number of factors, such as patient desires and individual physical characteristics that must all be taken into consideration to gain an optimal outcome.

Choosing a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon well versed in cosmetic breast surgery will provide you with an informed choice about the type of implant, the position of the implant and the incision used.  Your Plastic Surgeon will inform you whether your desired breast size increase is realistic, if you are an appropriate candidate for breast augmentation using implants alone or if a breast lift combined with implants is the best option.  There are also a number of breast implants on the market provided by different companies.  They are not all equal in quality and their price does vary.  It is important to enquire about who the implant manufacturer is and whether the manufacturer provides a warranty for the product.

As New Zealanders we tend to be more realistic than our American or even Australian friends in regard to body proportion.  The majority of patients who attend for breast augmentation in my practice have either an undeveloped bust or have lost breast volume following pregnancy, breast feeding or weight loss.  This group of patients want to create a bodily balance by increasing their bust size to a proportionate level, with the goal of feeling and appearing more feminine.  Ultimately, cosmetic surgery is about enhancing your appearance and in so doing creating a more natural looking beauty.

If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed on this blog, please feel free to email me:

Who is a Plastic Surgeon and Why is this Important?


“The Fountain of Youth” – Dr Chris Porter’s inside view of cosmetic surgery where he aims to help you to make the best possible informed choice and achieve your cosmetic surgery goals.


Welcome to the first of my weekly blogs which I hope will educate you and provide you with useful information when considering cosmetic surgery.  The title “The Fountain of Youth” was chosen because we know the fountain is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks its waters.  With the explosion of the digital era there are now a number of cosmetic surgery websites that are presented as if they are a fountain of youth and a number of medical practitioners who claim to be Plastic Surgeons.  I thought that the first blog entry would be best served to explain who really is a bona fide Plastic Surgeon and why this is important to you if you are considering a cosmetic surgical procedure.




“Who is a Plastic Surgeon and Why is this Important?”


 With the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery over the past decade it has become increasingly difficult and sometimes confusing for patients to identify a properly trained Plastic Surgeon.  Cosmetic procedures both surgical and non surgical broadly encompass the face, neck, breast, body and limbs.  As the diversity of cosmetic procedures has increased so has the diversity of practitioners offering them.  Cosmetic surgery initially was the domain of Plastic Surgeons but as cosmetic surgery has become more popular, so have the number of practitioners claiming to be Cosmetic Surgeons or Plastic Surgeons. Have they performed the training required to label themselves as Plastic or Cosmetic Surgeons?  In New Zealand bona fide Plastic Surgeons hold a standard medical degree and then have undertaken four years of supervised training under the Royal
College of Surgeons and have passed vigorous testing both in exams and technical ability before being allowed to call themselves a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.  Plastic and Reconstructive surgery is the only surgical training scheme to formally include cosmetic surgery in its training.  Accordingly, all trained Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons are well versed in cosmetic surgical and non surgical procedures that have proven outcomes and desirable results.


There are a number of pseudo-Plastic/Cosmetic Surgeons/Practitoners  who have jumped on the plastic and cosmetic surgery band wagon who offer limited cosmetic surgical and non surgical procedures.  These practitioners may be Surgeons from other specialities, non surgical skin specialists, general GP’s without any specific surgical training or even medical spa nurses without on-site medical supervision. The only way to be certain that your Plastic or Cosmetic Surgeon is formerly qualified as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon is to check for the FRACS  (Plastic and Reconstructive) on their certificate of qualification or you can go to the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons website
 and search for your specific surgeon.  By choosing a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon for your cosmetic needs you will receive a professional educated discussion offering you an informed choice of the best procedure from a wide range of potential options.  Unfortunately, the internet is full of cosmetic surgery websites that are glossy and glamorous and without the correct information about the practitioner performing your procedure, you may get a less than desirable outcome. In the cosmetic surgery market place the potential patient needs to be aware and well informed, I hope this initial blog has been helpful to guide you towards choosing your Cosmetic Surgeon and ultimately achieve your cosmetic surgery goals. 


If you have any specific requests regarding cosmetic surgery topics that you would like discussed in this blog, please feel free to email me:

FRACS Chris Porter Cosmetic Surgery
NZAPS Chris Porter Cosmetic Surgery