Much has changed in the science of Breast Augmentation since the procedure was first done in 1961.
Surgeons have worked diligently to become specialists in the field of Breast Surgery. Implant options available have grown substantially and research data now exists to guide choices.
Common issues of the past have been addressed and implant design has been altered significantly to make this procedure safer and increase the levels of patient satisfaction.
Here are some of the specific ways in which science and medical technique have progressed to address the concerns of the past.
Improvements in Silicone
The first implants created featured a thick silicone gel inside a hard rubber shell which was seamed. They were found to feel unnatural in texture and had a large rate of capsular contracture. The second type of implants attempted to address these issues. They were made with more fluid silicone and thinner shells. While this helped them feel more natural, they were found to easily leak and rupture and still faced high rates of capsular contracture. The third type of implants had design changes made to the shell such as being made thicker with added silica to decrease the possibility of ruptures. The fourth type of implant attempted to still address the common rupture-&-leak issue by featuring a more solid silicone gel. This led to silicone implants being approved by the FDA of the United States in 2006 for the first time.
Over time, advances like texturing of the shells and anatomical shapes added even more to the safety, versatility and variety of breast implants.
Implants changed again in more recent years when “Form Stable Silicone” was introduced. This silicone gel is not just thicker, it is soft and yet it retains its shape. Approved for use in 2012 this type of implant is often referred to as a ‘gummy bear implant’ and is the most commonly used implant-type within modern breast augmentation procedures.
This new generation of implant minimizes the worries about implant rupture. The thickness of form stable silicone means that even if the implant is cut or torn, as it contains no viscous fluid, it does not ooze nor leak. This is in contrast to previous types of silicone that leaked into surrounding tissue and precipitated complicated removal procedures.
These implants do not tend to fold or wrinkle. As both of these actions are thought to contribute to shell breakage, it is set to have increased longevity.
Better Shape & Fewer Complications
Implants now come in both the traditional round form and also a tear-drop shape to contribute to a natural look.
Form stable silicone also allows the implant to maintain its smooth shape very well so unwanted rippling is also less likely.
Complications in general have seemingly been reduced by these innovative implants as evidenced in this research data that also asserts there is a trend toward higher patient satisfaction when form-stable silicone implants are used.
Avoiding Capsular Contracture
Capsular Contracture happens when the body’s autoimmune system reacts to the breast implant by forming scar tissue. This scar tissue can encapsulate the implant which can change the shape, appearance, and texture of the implant. To address this, some implant shells have been changed from a previous smooth surface to a textured surface. A textured surface is thought to discourage scar tissue formation especially when an implant is placed above the muscle (subglandular).
Incisions, point-of-entry & scarring
Doctors and clients now have multiple choices when it comes to incisions and point-of-entry decisions. Factors such as the type of implant used and the desired aesthetic may call for different approaches to be implemented.
Experienced and certified surgeons have experience in diminishing scarring. Scarring treatments and after-care are an integral part of minimizing scarring. If unwanted scarring does occur, there are management options available to minimize the scars visibility. There are also insertion-points which are very discrete.
Breast Augmentation Today
Advanced surgical techniques and superior implant material have contributed to the continuing rise in popularity and patient satisfaction. In fact, it is currently estimated that between 5 and 10 million women in the world have received a breast augmentation.
It is now possible to achieve a natural aesthetic, very different from the outdated idea of clearly discernible ‘work’ being done.
Choosing a doctor is one of the most important decisions you will make. You have a right and responsibility to yourself, to have your concerns and questions answered if you are considering whether breast augmentation might be right for you. Call to schedule a consult where I can personally address what is important to you.