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Breast augmentation surgery has seen significant advancements over the years. From new types of implants to innovative techniques for a faster recovery, researchers and surgeons are constantly making strides in their effort to improve this highly sought-after surgery.

Below, we’ll take a brief look at the history of breast augmentation, then shift our focus to the most important advancements in recent years. 

A Brief History of Breast Augmentation

It seems that throughout history, women have always wanted their breasts to look good — so much so that surgeons started experimenting with breast implants as far back as the 1800s.

Unfortunately, the surgeons of the 19th century were largely unsuccessful in their efforts. Years later, however, in 1962, the first successful breast enlargement using implants was performed. The implants were made of silicone, and the woman who had them implanted was thrilled with her results. 

The rest is history. 

In the 60s and 70s, surgeons could offer petite, small, medium, and large implants, and many women were enthused to sign up. The surgery didn’t really take off, however, until the 80s and 90s. In fact, breast augmentation surgery truly skyrocketed in 1992, and this was when the rise of saline implants (over silicone) also began. 

Today, breast augmentation surgery is one of the top five plastic surgeries in the country, with roughly 200,000 individuals undergoing the surgery annually in the United States. 

Top Breast Augmentation Advancements Over the Past 5 Years

Breast augmentation advancements have been ongoing since the inception of the surgery. Let’s take a look at five of the most important advancements we’ve seen over the past five years.

1. A focus on natural-looking breasts

In the 1990s, the prominence of actresses like Pamela Anderson (Baywatch) made extra-large, taut, and perky breasts famous. Many women who opted for breast augmentation tended to want to “make a statement” and go up at least two or three cup sizes. 

Today, a more natural approach has become popular. Women want their new breasts to both look and feel like real breasts, and this shift has prompted surgeons and implant manufacturers to change their side of things as well.

An increasing number of surgeons are tailoring their implants to the specific measurements of their patients. This is in an effort to create a natural shape that looks attractive, but at the same time, does not appear too altered. New implants match the body frame of the patient, and patients can even use simulation technology to see what different implants would look like on their own bodies.

Finally, instead of just a few options in terms of size, shape, and material, there are now a vast number of implant options to choose from. Again, most patients drift toward a natural-looking outcome.

2. Fat transfer breast augmentation

One of the most innovative advancements in breast augmentation has been the introduction of the fat transfer process. With this technique (originally made famous by the Brazilian butt lift procedure), patients have excess fat removed from other areas of their body (the waist, stomach, flanks, upper arms, etc.), and then, that fat is repurposed.

With fat transfer breast augmentation surgery, it is repurposed on the breasts. The surgeon reinjects the fat at key locations on and around the breasts, and over time, the fat adheres to its new location and creates more fullness, plumpness, and volume. The fat transfer process is also one of the most natural looking approaches to augmentation. Still, it should be noted that in most cases, the breast augmentation cost of the fat transfer procedure is higher than the procedure with implants.

3. Gummy bear implants

Again, gummy bear implants have also advanced patients’ interest in having natural-looking breasts. The difference is that with gummy bear implants, you can make more significant changes in size and shape. With the fat transfer process, only modest changes are possible.

What makes gummy bear implants different from traditional saline and silicone implants? Most notably, they retain their shape better. Unlike other silicone implants, gummy bear implants have a thicker gel inside. This means that even if their shell is broken, the implants retain their shape.

Gummy bear implants are also safer because they have a far lower leak rate when compared with traditional silicone implants. Finally, they feel natural. Most patients agree that gummy bear implants feel the most natural when compared with other options.

4. Shorter, faster recovery times

While recovery from breast augmentation still requires downtime, and symptoms such as swelling and bruising are imminent, today, many patients only require a short recovery overall.

The Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation technique both reduces bruising and swelling in the first 24 hours and gets rid of pain faster. This technique is not one single approach. Rather, it is a combination of during- and post-operation processes that focus on reducing recovery symptoms and ensuring the safety of the patient. 

For example, during the operation, your surgeon will use a special antibiotic solution to reduce complications and other risks. Absorbable sutures will be used. And detailed post-op instructions will help patients heal more quickly.

5. Techniques to reduce risks and complications

Lastly, breast augmentation surgery is safer, and there are fewer risks and complications than ever before.

One of the reasons for this comes down to new surgical techniques like the 14-Point Plan, developed by Dr. William Adams. 

Dr. David Sieber, MD breast augmentation surgeon explains the 14-Point Plan this way:

The 14-Point Plan includes 14 individual steps taken to minimize the risk of capsular contracture formation and other complications. We also utilize specific antibiotic irrigation formulas to further reduce risk. Finally, no sizers are used during surgery as this can increase the risk of complications as well.”

Safe and Effective Breast Augmentation

Today, breast augmentation is the safest it’s ever been, and that’s probably the best news to come out of new breast surgery innovations. 

In addition, for those who want natural-looking breasts, it’s never been easier to achieve natural results — either with the fat transfer process or with implants.

Finally, the procedure itself is faster and easier to recover from than ever before. 

Are you thinking about breast augmentation? Schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon near you to learn more about the procedure and your options for surgery.

Published by HOLR Magazine.