Health & Medical Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery

Breast Augmentation Surgery: The Facts

Women who feel their breasts are too small may encounter renewed self-esteem with breast augmentation surgery. Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure during which implants are placed into the chest to create the appearance of a larger, fuller, and more symmetrical bustline.

Types of Breast Implants
Developments in technology have allowed patients undergoing breast augmentation to choose from a number of breast implant options. While many patients associate silicone breast implants with dangerous complications, the truth is that modern silicone implants are safe to use and can provide a natural look and feel. Learn more about silicone and saline breast implants, and consult a cosmetic surgeon to determine which type of implant will best suit your needs.

Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants were banned by the FDA in 1992 because of concerns about ruptures and leakage, but significant improvements and extensive testing led to re-approval in 2006. Many patients opt for silicone breast implants today because their texture closely resembles natural breast tissue. However, because silicone breast implants may ripple, patients who are thinner or have other contraindications may be better suited by saline implants.

Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants have been the norm in the United States for years. Saline implants are more affordable than silicone implants, and the natural salt water filler is easily and safely absorbed by the body in case of rupture. A disadvantage associated with saline implants is the risk of capsular contracture, a condition in which scar tissue causes the implants to harden.

Cohesive Gel Silicone Breast Implants
Cohesive gel silicone breast implants, also referred to as "gummy bear" implants, have yet to be approved for general use in the United States. Gel implants have been in use in Europe for more than a decade, and have the most natural texture, look, and feel when compared to other implant types. While this type of implant is still in trial stage in the U.S., most doctors agree that the natural appearance and lower risk of leakage and scarring will make these the implants of the future.

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