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Silicone Today, Fat Tomorrow; Breast Augmentation Rocks On

Silicone breast implants, invented in 1962, soldier on. Though they provide a smooth profile, they’ve had a bumpy path. The sixties bought a clamor for them. Then, because of complications, the nineties bought a clamor against them. Of these silicone devices, Wmag.com, May 2012, reports, “Now they are back: bigger, safer, and more popular than ever.” In fact, the FDA recently approved a new silicone breast implant manufactured by Sientra.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that last year 316,848 breast augmentations were performed in the United States. Call it a fashion choice or a definer of femininity, the enhanced bosom doesn’t seem to be going away. So it makes perfect sense for Wmag.com to ask the question, “How did so many women become so interested in having a bigger bosom than nature intended?

Victoria Pitts-Taylor, for one, director of the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the City University of New York, blames it on the media and “women feeling they must compete with what is essentially a pornographic aesthetic.”

There was a time when large breasts were, for the most part, considered a burden. If you did want to enhance your breast size, there was a fear about implant materials. In fact, in the early 20th century, Wmag.com reports that surgeons tried fillers like glass and ivory balls, peanut oil, goat’s milk ox cartilage, honey and paraffin. With the plastics revolution, Teflon, nylon and Plexiglas were thrown into the mix.

The breast really came into its own with the Hollywood bombshells. Blondes, like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, flooded the newsstands and their big-busted sisters, like Rita Hayworth and Jane Russell, came close on their heels. Wmag.com reports that in 1964, Carol Doda, who pioneered topless go-go dancing, underwent dozens of silicone injections and this technique became de rigeur on the burlesque circuit. However, injected as such, silicone tended to migrate, bunch up or turn rock solid.

After tremendous advances in surgical breast augmentation techniques, resulting in fewer infections and a significant reduction in hardening, the question is, “Will silicone breast implants be around to celebrate their 100th birthday?” Wmag.com reports, “Probably not.” Now doctors are working with fat cells that can be transplanted into breasts. A former plastic surgeon who was a resident during the first 1962 silicone breast augmentation says, “The future is fat.” Whether its paraffin, silicone, saline, or your own fat, it doesn’t look like breast augmentation is going out of style.

08, July, 2012Dr. Richard Schwartz

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