Breast augmentation celebrates milestone

May 16, 2012

Breast augmentation celebrates milestone
Breast augmentation celebrates milestone

While many people get breast implants as a birthday gift, others treat themselves to the surgery in order to improve their physical appearance and self-confidence. But this year, those who celebrate a milestone in their lives with this cosmetic procedure should know that the procedure itself is hitting a milestone. That's right – 50 years have passed since the first breast augmentation procedure was performed in 1962, so 2012 marks the surgery's 50th birthday!

Today, there are two types of breast implants available – silicone and saline. Silicone implants are filled with sterile salt water. According to ASAPS, these implants may be pre-filled to a predetermined size, but they can also be filled at the time of surgery. The average cost for these implants in 2011 was $3,308.

Silicone gel-filled breast implants are medical devices implanted under the breast tissue or under the chest muscle. These implants have a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel. They come in different sizes and have either smooth or textured shells. ASAPS reports the average cost for these types of implants in 2011 was $3,694.
"Surgical techniques for breast augmentation and breast implants themselves are continuously being refined, increasing the safety and reliability of the procedure," reports ASAPS.

In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new type of silicone-gel breast implant, manufactured by Sientra. These implants are available textured or smooth and either round or shaped, which some believe helps to create a more natural looking breast.

A licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon can help patients decide which type and size of breast implant is best for their desired outcome. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), more than 316,000 individuals underwent the surgery in 2011, making it the second most common surgical procedure done by ASAPS members.

The mission of the Aesthetic Society includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Aesthetic Society, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

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