Only half a year ago, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved silicone implants for women other than those having reconstructive surgery following mastectomy. Another rare group of proactive women were eligible for silicone implants prior to the FDA blessing on the alternative to saline implants. Those were women who proactively underwent mastectomy surgery without being diagnosed as having cancer in their breasts. Most of those women were daughters and sisters of women who had died of breast cancer.
Silicone implants are more natural feeling and looking than saline implants and require less recovery and downtime.
They are a legion of women in search of the perfect breasts. And their reasons have everything to do with what they look like with their clothes on, not off.
Dr. Ben Lee, plastic surgeon practicing in Englewood, Colo., a suburb of Denver, Colo. has been performing breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lifts and reconstructive breast surgery since opening his practice in the 1990s. Mastectomy patients were a large segment of his patient population in his earliest years of practice. Even members of his staff are patients who underwent breast surgery for cancer followed by reconstructive breast surgery. Having a at least one staff member present at all times to consult with patients in the same circumstances has proven invaluable, says Dr. Lee, a double board certified plastic surgeon.
But an interesting thing happened when the FDA lifted its ban on silicone that had been in place since 1992. “Women who were waiting on the fence started to call the office in droves,” says Dr. Lee.
But today’s silicone is much improved over earlier generations of silicone used in implants in the ’70s and ’80s, prior to the 1992 ban.
The first generation of silicone implants had a more liquid consistency, explains Dr. Lee. Now considered to be in its fifth generation of medical technology, the newest silicone breast implants are fondly called “gummy bear” when referring to the consistency, feel and naturalness. These new and improved silicone implants are manufactured of a cohesive gel, making it more stable and unlikely to lose its shape and form and are unlikely to leak. In part, that’s due to the increased thickness of the shell, now several layers thick instead of a single layer casing. More anatomically shaped than the older version of implants, the newer ones have the advantage of less visible rippling, a consideration for women whose breasts have thin skin caused by childbirth and nursing or women with particularly small breasts.
Clearly for women there are body parts that surface to the top as contributors to one’s self image. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that in 2006, 329,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in the U.S.
“FDA approval along with the evolution of the silicone implants are certain to generate even more enhancement surgeries going forward,” observes Dr. Lee.
For information on breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lifts and reconstructive breast surgery, visit Dr. Lee’s website at www.benleemd.com or contact his office for a consultation at (303) 770-1379.