Breast Augmentation News

Once the most popular procedure, breast augmentation is the first for women ages 19-34 years. During the '90's there was concern and "controversy" about the safety of silicone gel implants, and although saline implants remained a viable option, their use too dropped off as plastic surgeons and the FDA looked to establish the safety of these devices. The FDA ruled on May 10, 2000 that saline filled implants manufactured by Mentor and McGhan corporations could continue to be marketed and used in women over 18 years of age for breast augmentation.

A number of studies have looked at these safety issues as well as various somatic complaints (e.g. aches, pains in the neck, trunk and extremities) and most conclude there was no connection between "autoimmune" disease and "somatic" complaints and breast augmentation. Over 50% increase in breast augmentation procedures was seen between 1998 and 1999. My personal preference in recent years has been to use saline implants which can be adjusted for asymmetric in breast volume between the two sides. The location I prefer is inframammary which provides the most direct approach to the implant pocket and after healing, this incision is difficult to see under the curve of the breast.

Other incisions are located under the arm and along the bottom curve of the pigmented areola. I often put the implant beneath the muscle as this provides an extra layer of tissue to protect the implant and the muscle contraction during normal activity may keep the implant softer by keeping the implant moving. "Round" implants are quite satisfactory and they are probably assume a more "tear drop" or "anatomic" shape in the body.

There are indications for other types and shapes of implants and placement above the muscle which options are best discussed with the patient during consultation. Deflation rates for saline implants are low and most manufacturers provide replacement implants in these instances.

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