Breast augmentation has become one of the top plastic surgery procedures in the United States since the first successful silicone gel-filled implants were introduced in 1963. Prior to that, experimental procedures for breast enlargements included injection of paraffin or silicone, or even foreign objects such as wool or sponges, directly into the breast, which did not procure favorable or safe long-term results. Luckily, breast augmentation materials and surgical techniques have gone through decades of improvements since then, giving women safer and more desirable long-term results. Breast augmentations have increased by almost 50% since the turn of the century, and more than 300,000 women underwent breast augmentation just in 2011 alone.
The 1970s saw inflatable implants as well as double lumen implants with an interior silicone filled chamber surrounded by an outer, saline-filled chamber. These implants had thinner membrane walls and less viscous solutions for a more natural feel, but had higher incidences of rupturing. One of the most common problems associated with breast augmentation is the formation of internal scar tissue around the implant itself, causing excessive breast firmness resulting in a less natural feel. The 1980s introduced an implant with a textured surface as an attempt to alleviate this problem.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding breast augmentation in the 1990s due to a number of women claiming adverse health problems as a result of complications with their implants. Lawsuits against the companies that produced these implants caused the FDA to ban the use of silicone-gel filled implants in 1992. While they were still available, breast augmentation patients at this time were given saline-filled implants. It wasn’t until years of research that the FDA finally gave their approval for the cosmetic use of silicone-filled implants again in 2000.
Today, breast implant manufacturers must adhere to strict FDA guidelines, being much safer than previous decades. Women have access to both silicone gel-filled implants as well as saline. Additionally, patients that opt for breast augmentation today don’t have to experience long, painful recoveries like patients in the past. Most surgeons opt for using cautery or electrical devices to reduce bleeding during surgery rather than blunt incisions and drainage tubes, making recovery more comfortable for patients post-op.
Safe and Effective Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation has made leaps and bounds in the last four decades in terms of safety and aesthetic results, which is why it is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries in the United States. Women seeking safe and natural breast augmentation results should schedule an appointment for a consultation with our board certified plastic surgeons at Boulder Plastic Surgery. Call us at 303-443-2277 and we’ll work with you to create an individualized surgical plan to help you achieve the look and feel you desire.