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Surgical Breast Implants

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Evolution of Surgical Breast Implants

Surgical implantation of material into the breast began in the early 20th century. After trial and error with numerous substances, the first silicone breast implant was developed in the 1960’s. This implant was notable for its novel design involving a tough but elastic silicone shell with a softer silicone gel filling. In the following years, this basic design was improved upon which aimed to create breast implants that were more natural appearing and more resistant to rupture or leakage.

Saline (salt water) breast implants were also developed concurrently. They use the same silicone shell as in silicone implants but differ in their use of saline to fill the inner contents. Saline implants were commonly used in the 1990’s during a period of time where there was a temporary moratorium on silicone-filled implants.

Currently, silicone gel implants are significantly more popular than saline due to a more natural feel and appearance. Implants are available in various sizes, shapes, fill types, and textures. Choosing the right implant is a complex topic and should be done in close communication with a plastic surgeon. Modern day breast implants have been rigorously studied in hundreds of thousands of women and have an exceptional track record of safety. As with any medical device, breast implants do carry certain risks that should be discussed with a plastic surgeon.

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