Ever since our founding almost fifty years ago, the board certified plastic surgeons here at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. have provided assistance to thousands of men and women by performing a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures. However, the one procedure that gets the most attention is breast augmentation. This is hardly surprising since, with more than a quarter of a million procedures performed in 2016 alone, breast augmentation is by far the most popular form of plastic surgery in the United States. However, although most people are well-familiar with breast implants and what they do, few know just how interesting and sophisticated these little medical devices can be.
Here are some fascinating facts about breast implants.
- Early (and largely unsuccessful) attempts at breast augmentation used a variety of materials, such as paraffin wax, ox cartilage, rubber, and even ivory. The breast implant as we know it today was first developed in 1961 and is composed of a flexible elastomer shell filled with either silicone gel or saline solution. Since then, the various types of breast implants have gone through five generations of improvements to arrive at the advanced designs that we use today.
- According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 290,000 women received breast implants during cosmetic breast augmentation in 2016, and even this number fails to take into account the thousands of women who received breast implants during breast reconstruction Overall, the popularity of cosmetic breast augmentation has nearly tripled since 1997, when just over 100,000 of these procedures were performed.
- While most people tend to think of breast implants as round or spherical, there are actually a variety of different shapes and sizes available. Shaped breast implants, which are thicker at the bottom and tapered at the top to look like a tear-drop, more closely mimic the contours of the female breast and achieve extremely natural looking results. Moreover, the dimensions of a shaped implant are, to a degree, customizable. Some may be taller than they are wide, while others may be wider than they are tall to fit the specific body type of the patient.
- On average, the typical woman undergoing breast augmentation is approximately 34 years old. Even though breast implants do not interfere in any way with a woman’s ability to breast feed, almost 90% of women who desire breast augmentation surgery still choose to wait until after they have children to get breast implants. Furthermore, after having children many women choose to undergo mommy makeover procedures, which may include breast augmentation, as a way to help restore their bodies to a pre-pregnancy appearance.
- Although there was some concern, in the early 1990’s, that silicone gel implants might cause medical problems, extensive testing on thousands of women has shown those fears to be unfounded. Breast augmentation surgery is very safe and has a low risk of complications. Manufacturers suggest that most breast implants will last ten to twenty years, but the actual lifespan will more likely depend on the individual patient. Many breast implants last as long as twenty-five years or more without any breast implant complications and recent FDA reports indicate that only about 20% of women will choose to have their breast implants repaired or replaced within ten years of the original surgery.
Woman today have a variety of breast surgery options, including breast lifts, breast augmentation, or even breast reduction. If you are interested in learning more about what options might be right for you, please feel free to contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery P.C. in Atlanta, Alpharetta, or Cumming to schedule a full consultation.