The pursuit for bigger bust sizes has been an obsession of woman for nearly half a century, showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. When considering all plastic surgery procedures done in 2018; breast augmentation ranks at the top and has been that way since 2006 in the United States, seeing significant growth year after year1.
It has been a long and tumultuous journey for breast augmentation in the world of cosmetic surgical procedures, having many setbacks and health scares for its participants. But advances in materials used and techniques implemented throughout the years have made modern breast augmentation safer, faster, and provide a more natural shape and feel than ever before.
A Look Back to the Past
There is no better way to appreciate where breast augmentation is today then by taking a look back to when it first started. In the early years, during the early 50s and 60s, breast augmentation used a number of different implant materials to achieve bigger looking breasts. Most notable were sponges and fabric tapes wound into a ball. While these materials provided great results, within a year of augmentation breasts would become very firm and lose over 25% of their volume. This was due to the capsular nature of the implant at the time which had a tendency to contract or reduce in size and shape.
The first silicone gel breast implant would be introduced in 1963, revolutionizing the breast augmentation industry; bringing a more natural feeling breast to the market. Over the next decade, the silicone breast implant would see several generational changes to its gel viscosity and structure allowing them to be softer and stay intact longer.
In the 1970s however, silicone implants were taken off the market by the FDA due to concerns about their safety. It would take several years of clinical research into these concerns, and as of 2006 silicone implants were officially absolved of causing any harm to its recipients. Since then silicone breast implants have continued to improve with different coverings and formulations being engineered to prevent the chances of deflation and/or rupture.
Saline (sterile salt water) implants were also introduced in the 1960s but have typically been less popular than its silicone variant due to their perceived “less-than-natural” feel and aesthetic appearance. Saline implants do have the benefit of being safer and less invasive however, needing only smaller incisions when implanted. In contrast to silicone gel implants, saline implants could be inserted empty and filled once in place under the existing breast tissue. Benefits that saline has over silicone is that in cases where rupture does occur, deflated implants would be easily being recognized and brought to the attention of a medical profession. Saline is also considered a harmless substance; safely being absorbed by the body in the unlikely event rupture occurs.
In the modern era, several advancements and innovations in breast augmentation have made it an ideal time to receive implants. The latest implants used in current breast augmentation procedures look and feel more natural than they have ever been before, while also significantly reducing the occurrence of pain-related symptoms and almost never needing to be replaced.
The following are some of the latest evolutions of the breast augmentation procedure done today, finally giving women the size, shape, and natural appearance they’ve always desired.
Latest Breast Augmentation Improvements
Differing formations of silicone gel is nothing new, allowing for better looking and feeling breasts. One such innovation is the introduction of the “Gummy-Bear” or Cohesive Gel Implants, and as the name suggests, has more in common with the properties of a gummy bear instead of simply having gel-like liquid inside of an implant. While this technology has been around for quite some time, it has only been in the last five years since gummy implants have been approved for use in the United States.
The gel used in this type of implant is formulated in a way to better hold its shape, leading to decreased wrinkling or rippling compared to other types of implants. The properties of this type of silicone gel allow for improved stability and structure, much like how a gummy bear would still maintain its form when cut in half. This is in stark contrast to more liquid forms of silicone gel implants that would leak outside of its capsule if ruptured.
Implant leakage or rupture have been the main reasons for doctors to recommend replacing breast implants every decade or so, as it can lead to further complications requiring surgery. Cohesive gel implants are known for having consistently low rupture rate over a 10 year period, while other forms of implants may have slightly higher rates depending on the manufacturer2.
Techniques for Faster Recovery
Breast augmentation is considered an invasive procedure; requiring a trip to the operating room and anesthesia. Over the decades, surgical techniques have improved to make this form of major surgery less-invasive to a degree than previous iterations, and in some cases allowing patients to recover in as little as 24 hours. Rapid recovery breast augmentation generally involves precisely placing the implant under the muscle, leading to less bruising or bleeding, with pain and inflammation in the body being almost non-existent. These surgical procedures are can be done much quicker, in as little as 24 minutes, compared to the average of 2 hours for more traditional forms of breast augmentation surgery.
Fat Transfer Breast Implant
Many women often wish that instead of inserting a foreign object into their bodies they would rather simply move around some of their existing unwanted fat into their breasts, making their bodies 100% natural. Now, this can become a reality with a fat transfer. Using liposuction to suck out fat from one part of the body (e.g. thighs, arms, love handles or back) and transferring it to the breasts, fat transfer procedures can be done relatively easily; giving fuller breasts while also contouring the body simultaneously. Fat transfer can also enhance existing breast implants, providing more aesthetically pleasing cleavage and side-boob.
Reduced Post-Op Pain
One of the most common short-coming to getting breast augmentation is the associated pain that that occurs after the procedure. Many patients often have to rely on prescription pain-killers in order to cope with the pain during the recovery period which may lead to overuse or even addition. While quick recovery techniques for breast augmentation surgery exist, helping to minimize pain, there is still room for improvement.
This has led to the development and use of non-narcotic numbing agents that are directly injected into the surgical site. These new medicines have a honeycomb structure allowing it to dissolve slowly over the course of several days. Timed released numbing agents allow for a constant decrease of pain and the reduced need for strong pain-killers during the healing process.
The Right Plastic Surgeon for You
Whether you are looking to enhance the look and size of your breast or seeking more information about cosmetic surgery, Dr. Maida Parkins is the plastic surgeon for you. Her years of experience and expert knowledge of the ever-advancing world of cosmetic medicine can help you achieve the beautiful you’ve always wanted. Dr. Parkins caring and compassionate nature helps make all her patients feel comfortable in her care, as she is committed to achieving the best results possible.