SAN DIEGO, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Silicone breast implants were once villainized to the point of being banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That was 20 years ago, the same year Microsoft released Windows 3.1, Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated, and the Space Shuttle Endeavour made her maiden voyage.
The FDA reversed its ruling in 2006, after implant manufacturers Allergan and Mentor proved there was no connection between their implants and various speculative health concerns. During those years of scrutiny, the implant companies developed a new generation of silicone gel breast implants. Instead of a liquid filling, these advanced and more durable implants have a thick silicone gel that holds its shape even if sliced. These "new" breast implants have now been around for about 10 years. While they are still not considered lifetime devices, statistics from the first 10 years suggest that these implants will last far longer than any previous models.
Still, approximately 31 percent of women choose saline breast implants for several reasons:
1. Their size can be customized post surgically to make small adjustments.
2. It's easy to tell when they need to be replaced (they shrink noticeably if ruptured).
3. Their cost is about half the cost of silicone gel implants.
At La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre, the surgeons recommend silicone gel implants because they look and feel much more natural. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), this single advantage persuaded a large majority (69 percent) of the 316,848 women who underwent breast augmentation across the country in 2011 to choose silicone over saline. Breast augmentation is still the most popular elective surgical procedure for women in America.
Other advancements have improved breast augmentation. Submuscular placement -- placing the implants beneath the pectoralis major muscle in the chest -- has reduced the instance of capsule contracture, according to the National Institutes of Health. Submuscular placement also reduces visible rippling, which is more likely to occur with saline implants. The Keller Funnel™, introduced in 2009, has improved the surgical process while reducing tissue damage and the chance of infection. Only used for silicone gel breast implant procedures, the Keller Funnel has been adopted by more and more plastic surgeons since its introduction. It enables the surgeon to make a smaller incision for a resulting smaller scar.
As a result of these advances, women who have breast augmentation today are much less likely to need an implant revision within 10 years. In fact, the FDA confirmed in 2011 that "silicone gel-filled breast implants are safe and effective when used as intended." The breast implant has never been the ticking time bomb some suspected, but the extreme scrutiny did lead to advances by manufacturers -- and an even greater commitment to safety.
Saline and silicone gel implants each have inherent advantages, so patients should discuss their goals and concerns with a board-certified plastic surgeon before making a choice. Patients are encouraged to do research, ask questions, and talk to other women with implants. Knowing what to expect means patients are more likely to be satisfied with their results.
About La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre: LJCSC is located in the Scripps/XIMED Medical Building on the Scripps Memorial Hospital Campus, at 9850 Genessee Avenue, Suite 130, in La Jolla, CA. Reach them by phone at 858-452-1981.
Media Contact: Marie Olesen, La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre, (http://www.ljcsc.com) or 858-452-1981.
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SOURCE La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre