The 60’s were a time of political unrest and sweeping societal changes in this country. The Hippie movement saw men growing their hair long and women burning their bras.

Apropos, the 60’s also gave birth to the first silicone breast implant. Throughout the late 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century surgeons had been using a variety of materials and surgical procedures to increase the size and change the shape of women’s breasts, most often with disastrous results. However in 1961 Dow Corning introduced the first silicone breast implant and breast augmentation became an immediate sensation.

Today, more than 50 years after the implant came to market, breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure. According to the 2013 National Plastic Surgery Statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS,) there were 290,244 breast augmentations performed in the U.S.

With the ever-increasing popularity of breast augmentation, the materials and surgical techniques continually advance as well, making the procedure more accessible and safer. Often, when faced with a range of choices, patients considering the procedure may be confused.

These tips are offered to help anyone considering breast augmentation surgery know what their choices are so they can discuss the options with surgeons as they go through the consultation process.

Types of Breast Implants: Silicone vs. Saline Implants

 The first generation silicone implants that made headlines in the 60’s and 70’s are long gone. Today, there are numerous implant options that have been tested for both safety and efficacy.

The newest cohesive gel or “gummy bear” implants are today’s preferred silicone implants. The gummy bear offers a lighter, softer more natural feel. There is also a lower deflation rate and less rippling.

Saline implants are less costly than the silicone implants. They are also more desirable for those who prefer a slightly smaller incision.

Location and Size of Incisions

 Though widely accepted today, many patients prefer to keep their surgery private. This raises concerns over the size and location of the incisions. Through advancements in breast surgery techniques and products the size and appearance of scars has been significantly reduced. The incision can be made under the breast fold, around the areola or under the armpit. This is a very important decision that must be discussed during consultation.

Breast Size and Shape 

Determining breast size is usually the greatest cause of anxiety for patients. The most important things to determine is specific body anatomy. Also with the use of contemporary imaging technology you can see the most probable outcome during the consultation. This gives you the opportunity to try different size and shapes of implants on your body making the selection process much easier than it has been in the past.

Selecting Your Surgeon

The most important decision of all when considering breast augmentation is selecting a plastic surgeon. Recommendations from those who’ve had the procedure is always a great way to begin. Selecting a surgeon who is board certified and has experience with the type of implant you desire is equally important. Work with a surgeon who also has the current imaging technology so you can see the likely outcome of your surgery to boost your confidence. After all, confidence and peace of mind is what it is ultimately all about.

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