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Breast Augmentation’s Big History, Part II

The history of breast augmentation, part 2, from Nashville plastic surgeon Brian P. Tierney, M.D.

In our last blog post, I shared a bit about how breast augmentation became the procedure it is today. I hope you found it as fascinating as I do.

This month, I’ll put that history in context by touching on 3 of the major innovations that have helped make breast augmentation the exceedingly popular, successful surgery it is today.

More Options

Silicone and saline remain the 2 FDA-approved materials for breast implants, but here in Nashville, TN, they’re both available in an array of different options to suit your body. For example, implants are available with both smooth or textured exteriors, and both options have their own set of advantages. Texturing is often appropriate for anatomically shaped implants (another recent development that mimics the natural shape of the breast), because the texturing helps to keep the implants in place. This minimizes the risk of rotation and the associated aesthetic concerns later on.

3-D Imaging

Special software that allows surgeons to offer “previews” to prospective patients is now widespread at practices around the country, and for many patients, it’s an invaluable way to see tangible evidence of the result — before undergoing surgery.

Depending on the software used, the surgeon first captures an image of the patient’s body as-is and then sits down with the patient to manipulate the image, simulating her potential results and experimenting with different surgical options. In addition to offering patients a glimpse of what’s possible, this type of imaging also helps the surgeon and patient arrive at a visible consensus, so they can be sure they’re working toward the same goal.

Safer Procedures

Breast augmentation is perennially one of the most popular aesthetic procedures in the U.S., and the large volume of surgeries has given plastic surgeons the opportunity to significantly refine it. Plastic surgery in general is a very safe field with stringent requirements for board certification, and breast augmentation in particular has benefited from innovations leading to shorter surgical times and speedier, more comfortable recuperations.

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