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Modern Breast Augmentation Options

According to Orange County breast augmentation specialist and board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Niccole, current breast implant techniques have many advantages over more old-fashioned, traditional methods. The end result is that women choosing breast enlargement can benefit from a safer, less invasive surgery with less downtime and more natural-looking results.

The History of Implants

The first recorded attempt at surgical breast augmentation was in 1895. Materials tried included adipose (fat tissue), paraffin, and even glass or ivory balls. Back then, complications due to infection were extremely common. During World War II, silicone injections directly to the breast area were pioneered. However, safety concerns curtailed the use of injected silicone in favor of silicone implants. Additional safety concerns were raised about a silicone implant design used in the 1970s and 1980s, which led to the use of only saline breast implants in the United States until 2006. Since then, newer generations of silicone gel implants have become available in the United States and continue to be available worldwide.

The Modern Implant

Today, breast implants can be filled with either saline (medical-grade salt water) or silicone gel. Saline implants require a smaller incision, since they can be filled after they are inserted in place. This implant type is also less expensive. Silicone gel, on the other hand, provides a look and feel that many people perceive as closest to natural breast tissue. For now at least, silicone gel and saline implants remain the top choices for women having breast augmentation.

Natural Profiles

In addition to the material used, the shape and dimension of breast implants has also changed. Dr. Niccole has seen a shift at his practice in Orange County. “Breast implants today are more about looking natural, not just simply going bigger,” he says. The goal now is to create a naturally enhanced look and attractive breast shape, rather than simply focusing on cup size or implant volume. Choosing implant size and placement in this way will provide a gentle slope more in tune with a natural breast, although a fuller, more prominent profile is still a popular choice.

Less Invasive Techniques

New advances in surgical procedure mean that less extensive surgery is needed, yet the results are superior. The time the patient spends in surgery is down to just about an hour for most breast enlargement procedures, and in almost all cases the patient can return home the same day. Because the surgery is less involved, recovery time is similarly shortened. Women having breast augmentation procedures are up and about much sooner these days than was ever possible in the early days of augmentation.

Reduced Scarring

Along with less invasive surgery comes less scarring as well. “My Orange County breast augmentation patients today benefit from modern methods that use much smaller incisions. For example, saline implants require only a small incision around the areola. For silicone gel implants, the incision can be made in the armpit or within the bottom crease of the breast. After healing, the scars in these areas are very inconspicuous. New, more accurate surgical equipment also helps to minimize scarring, as our tools grant us greater precision during the surgery itself.”

Looking at all of these improvements together, modern-day breast augmentation is safer and less invasive than at any other time in history, while at the same time providing highly satisfying results for the women choosing the procedure.

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