Breast augmentation is one form of cosmetic surgery, and is done on the breasts. Breast augmentation is so common today and this brings us to a discussion about it. This is what you and your buddies call a ‘boob job’. This is the use of implants to make the breast area appear larger and fuller or reshape the breast. It is commonly practiced for aesthetic purposes and sometimes to correct mistakes resulting from previous health conditions (eg cancer). Breast jobs normally involve enhancement of the texture, size and shape of the breast area. The materials used for Breast jobs include; silicone implants and saline implants, which we will look at later in this article.
The practice of breast augmentation first appeared in the late 19th century, when a surgeon, Vincenz Czerny conducted one on a lady’s breast that had a tumor removed. He used the autologous adipose tissue from the patient and was able to modify the breast giving it a similar (or almost) look. Earlier before Vincenz’s breast job, Surgeon Robert G. tried using paraffin. This was a huge fail as the paraffin leaked to other parts of the body- so terrible a fail.
Later on during the 20th century, breast implant fillers were used. These breast implant fillers were made of; glass, rubber, ivory, wool, polyethene and sponges. From 1945 onwards, the procedure involved rotating chest wall tissue into breasts to make them appear larger. Later, in the 1950s synthetic fillers that included silicone injections were used. In 1961, silicone breast prosthesis was developed by American surgeons, Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow. In 1964, Arion, a French company developed saline breast implants. In today’s breast augmentation, saline and silicone implants are mainly used.
These are filled with saline solution. It was widely used in 1990s in the US since silicone-made implants were under the restriction by FDA. They however weren’t that common in the other parts of the world. Saline implants normally have an advantage over silicon filled implants due to their emplacement method. The emplacement of saline implants involves making of a small incision and inserting an empty breast implant. After inserting the empty implant, they are then filled with the saline solution. This leaves a smaller surgical scar on the breast area than in silicone implants which require larger incision scars. Saline implants result in more smooth and realistic appearance and feel, than silicone implants. They however suffer cosmetic problems such as wrinkling of the breast skin. It is also more likely to be identified by the naked eye and by touch.
Silicone Gel Implants
The modern silicone gel implant came into light in the 1960s. It is the most superior implant in the word of breast jobs. It has evolved through five generations.
This was a silicone rubber envelope sac, in the shape of a teardrop. The prosthesis was fixed to the implant pocket using a fastener patch made of polyethylene telephthaline to reduce much movement on the bust area.
This was seen in the 1970s. It was subject to functional and aesthetic improvements. Among these improvements was the development of a double lumen breast implant.
Third, Fourth and Fifth generations.
Under these generations, advances in manufacturing, functioning and aesthetic aspects were observed. Thicker silicon filler gel was used. We saw the development of differently shaped breast implants that yield more positive results after a breast job. The fifth generation breast implant has a stronger and highly cohesive silicone gel which minimizes the risk of filler leakage. The fifth generation silicone gel implant is the most recommended implant.
Role of Breast Implants in the Society
Breast augmentation is widely being used by women as a weapon against low self esteem. The idea that bigger, more round breast are beautiful has raised the demand for breast jobs. Reports on improved physical health and mental health have been observed on women who have undergone breast augmentation.