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Doctor uses metal in breast implants

By Calvert Collins

The drawing shows how the titanium mesh is used to support sagging breasts and implants.
Breast implants

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A German cosmetic surgeon has developed a new procedure for breast implantation using titanium.

Dr. Ziya Saylan, President of the European Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, created the titanium mesh as the support for silicone breast implants to keep them from shifting downwards.

Most of his patients are women between 30 and 45 who suffer from sagging breasts because of weight loss or childbirth.

"The best candidates are those with no tendency for sagging," Saylan said.

"Implants are heavy and cause sagging, so a woman needs to have good skin for them to look good years after the surgery."

There is no age limit for the implants and mesh, although Saylan says women under 60 see the best long-term results because of skin flexibility.

Natascha Bruel, 37, a secretary from Dusseldorf, wanted breast implants and heard about Dr. Saylan's practice from a friend. On her first consultation, Dr. Saylan explained the titanium mesh would be the best option for her.

"He told me about the bra because my breasts were hanging down," Bruel said. "I have not had any pain or trouble with metal detectors after the surgery, and now my breasts are firm and good-looking."

Khalid Khan, a consultant plastic surgeon for the Victoria Hospital in Belfast, agrees that titanium is a good metal to use because it is flexible and causes no tissue damage, but says that doctors will need long-term evidence that the invention is beneficial.

"For clinicians to use the mesh, there needs to be hundreds of cases of more than five years with follow-up visits and no problems seen," Khan said. "Right now, the numbers are too small and the long-term effects haven't been proven yet."

Saylan, 55, has not seen any health problems from patients with the mesh, but still suggests regular mammograms, examinations and not wearing bras.

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