Breast Augmentation Primer – Implant Selection
Published on January 5, 2017 by Andrew Barnett
Choices, choices, choices! There are lots of options when it comes down to selecting the correct implant for you. Too many in fact, to completely explain in one blog, so I’ll take a few to get it all down.
When making a choice, you’ll probably rely on your plastic surgeon to narrow it down once you’ve made it clear what your goals are with your breast augmentation. I offer EVERY option to my patients – I have no “special deals” manufacturers. You can be assured that you’ll receive the implant that is correct for you.
Your options fall into six categories:
- Manufacturer – Allergan, Mentor, or Sientra
- Implant Fill Material – Silicone Gel or Saline
- Implant Surface Texture – Textured or Smooth
- Implant Shape – Round or Shaped
- Implant Size – Measured in cubic centimeters (or cc’s)
- Implant Profile – High, High Medium, Medium, Low Medium, or Low
And believe it or not, there are sub-categories within the sub-categories!
A Short History of Breast Implants
The modern breast implant was developed in the early 1960’s by Dow Corning. It was based on a design proposed by a young plastic surgeon in training named Dr. Gerow.
Prior to the modern implant, multiple injectable materials had been tried—usually with terrible outcomes. The last iteration before the modern implant was the use of the Ivalon sponge, which was also very unsuccessful.
Dr. Gerow was working late one night when he looked up at an IV fluid bag hanging on a hook by a patient’s bedside. Dow Corning had just started offering IV fluid bags – previously IV fluid was provided in bottles – and Dr. Gerow thought the half-filled bag looked like a woman’s breast.
He approached his boss, and together they approached Dow Corning. Dow created the bags out of silicone rubber, and eventually offered two different fill materials – liquid silicone gel or salt water. The modern age of breast implants and breast augmentation had begun!