Not only are the implants far sturdier and less prone to leakage, but we also have a much better understanding of how to minimize complications from surgery.
Q: How is breast augmentation a better procedure today than it was years ago?
What our experts say:
Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures perfomed with over 300, 000 of them done in the US each year. One of the most significant advances has been improvement in both the materials and the design of the implants themselves. With current technology there is lower risk of capsule contracture, rupture, and rippling and other surface irregularities, and this all translates to a lower likelihood of returning to the OR for problems. There are also improvements in the design of the implants such that we now have shaped form-stable implants as well as round implants, and we have more than one company making them with slight variations between them. The fact that there are now three implant manufactures in the US has helped create competition and disruptive change, and this advances the science and technology of the implants. Furthermore, each company offers very robust "warranty" programs for their implants, and this makes the operation less of a financial risk too. Little has changed in the landscape of saline implants, in fact, I would say they are sort of fading out; at least they are in my practice. The silicone gel filled implants have improved dramatically, though. In addition to the implants themselves, I would also say that our understanding of the anatomy of the breast and the techniques of breast augmentation have evolved and become more refined. Even advances like the Keller funnel have improved the way we do the operation. We have more ways to deal with differnet types of bodies and situations and more ways to deal with complications like capsule contracture too. All in all, I think that if you look at the details of breast augmentation instead of just considering it as a "commodity" - merely putting in an implant to make the breasts bigger - you will find that the operation has improved dramatically over what it was, even 10 years ago.
San Diego, California
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