Posted on 24 Oct 2017
The history of breast implants started much earlier than most people think, and let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty. Some of the first recorded attempts to artificially increase the size of breasts by inserting material under the skin were done before the 1900s. The procedure, as unbelievable as it sounds, involved injecting paraffin (wax) directly into the breast to increase its volume. Serious infections and the formation of lumps were common side effects of this primitive technique.
Fat transfer was the next go-to procedure back in the day. The doctor would harvest the fat from a different area of the body and inject it into the patient’s breasts. The issue was the body breaking down the fat and reabsorbing it. Much the same problem exists today, which is why fat transfer is still not used for breast augmentations.
In the mid-1950s, silicone was beginning to be used for breast augmentation injections. Tens of thousands of patients ended up with hardened and deformed breasts. Many had to undergo mastectomy as a result of serious complications. A few patients died. This disastrous role of silicone early in the history of breast implants proved to be a prequel of things to come for this mostly useful but controversial medical material.
In 1992, the FDA decided to ban the use of silicone breast implants for general, cosmetic use. Some silicone implants were still used for breast reconstruction in mastectomy patients. On the cosmetic surgery front, only patients enrolled in safety studies had access to these breast implant devices.
In 2000, the FDA issued its first formal approval for saline breast implants. This decision ensured that women who wanted cosmetic breast augmentation surgery had an option that was viewed as reasonably safe. Saline implants had actually been in use for several decades before this time for reconstruction and cosmetic purposes. However, the FDA only began closely reviewing the safety of breast implants in 1992 when the agency decided to limit the use of silicone implants. Saline passed muster with the caveat that physicians were required to discuss the likelihood of device failure with their patients.
In 2006, the FDA re-approved some models of silicone gel implants. The silicone devices available from major manufacturers like Allergan and Mentor in general use today are fourth generation cohesive gel implants with a multi-layered elastomer shell.
One of the more exciting recent advances in achieving safe and effective breast implants is the development of cohesive gel or “gummy bear” breast implants. These are form-stable (almost solid) silicone implants that feel squishy to the touch and retain their shape even if broken or cut. This fifth generation of implants is currently approved for use in the U.S.
If you are considering breast implant surgery, you need questions answered and concerns addressed. Dr. Keith Neaman can be that person. Dr. Neaman is a board certified plastic surgeon with your safety and satisfaction at the forefront. Call Dr. Neaman and meet with him. His vast knowledge of breast implant surgery will assure you that he is the surgeon you want. Call (844) 338-5445 to arrange your consultation.
Dr. Keith Neaman
Dr. Neaman is a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in surgical body contouring. He prides himself on being on the cutting edge of plastic surgery. He takes an informative approach to each consultation, and through open dialogue and communication, he helps his patients decide on a treatment plan that meets their needs.