How Breast Implants Have Changed Over the Years

Breast implant surgery is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure performed. Breast implants—also known as breast augmentation– are also the most researched and scientifically studied medical device in use today. This continual improvement in breast implant procedures has resulted in the modern breast implant to be an extremely safe and effective way for women to enhance their figures, improving mental wellbeing, and self esteem.

Dr. Sliwin is one of Toronto’s premier plastic surgeons, with extensive experience in performing successful breast enhancements. He believes that patients will experience far greater satisfaction if they are fully informed about the procedures they choose to have. Dr. Sliwin discusses the different types, shapes, and sizes of implants available at the in-depth consultation, which helps women decide which implant works best for their own needs.

The first implants

Breast implants have changed a great deal over the years. The very first implant surgeries were performed in the 1950s. These early implants were made of sponge. This was an unsuccessful technique because the sponges shrank, and became hard.

The first modern implant was performed over 50 years ago, in 1962. This implant was a silicone implant. The operation was performed on Timmie Jean Lindsey, of Texas, who went from a B to a C cup. She remains happy with her implants even today, when she is in her 80s.

The pioneers of the silicone breast implant, Dr. Frank Gerow and Dr. Thomas Cronin, performed this first historic procedure. Silicone implants were the only choice in those early days. However, the early form of silicone implant technology occasionally leaked. Many implants were removed, and this form of breast implant was banned in 1992.

Types of implants

Today, women can choose to have either saline or the modern cohesive gel implants. Both these forms of implants are very safe and effective. The type of implant chosen depends on the present shape of the breast, the effect wanted, and of course on the woman’s choice.

When performing breast implant surgery, Dr. Sliwin makes a careful incision and inserts the implant either under the muscle or behind the breast. Saline implants are inserted empty, and then filled when in place. Cohesive gel implants are inserted already filled with a gel similar in consistency to human fat.

Implants come in many sizes, and can either be round or teardrop shaped. Both are effective. Teardrop implants are particularly effective for breast reconstruction surgery, because they simulate the natural contours of the breast.

Breast implants are recommended for women who are unhappy with the way their breasts have developed, and want a fuller figure. They are also very effective for women whose breasts have been altered by pregnancy, perhaps sagging and losing volume and fullness. Some women whose breasts have been affected by pregnancy may prefer to have a breast lift as well as an implant. A breast lift alone will firm and uplift the breast, improving the position, but will not affect the size.

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