Silicone Breast Implants Turn 50! Dr. Paul Wigoda Celebrates

Dr. Paul Wigoda’s History Lesson on Breast Augmentation
This year marks the 50th anniversary of silicone breast implants. But breast augmentation began long before the spring of 1962.

It started innocuously enough. Women would pad their tops to give their breasts the appearance of extra fullness. Later, corsets were created to trim the waist and push the bosom to the fore.
As medical technology advanced, permanent breast enhancement became possible. A variety of materials were used to increase breast size including sponges and glass balls. Unfortunately, the materials used produced less than desirable results. Then Dr. Frank Gerow had a moment of inspiration while handling a plastic transfusion bag and, partnering with Dr. Thomas Cronin, created the first silicone implant with the assistance of the Dow Corning Corporation.
Today silicone breast implants are the most popular type of material used in breast augmentations, but the implant had to travel a pretty rocky road to get there. Here are a few notable events in the history of breast implants:
1962: Timmie Jean Lindsey is the first woman to get silicone breast implants.
1976: The Medical Devices Amendment is added to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act allowing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate and approve the safety and effectiveness of new medical devices. Since silicone implants have been around for awhile, they were grandfathered in.
1977: The silicone implants were known to rupture, a problem researchers were working hard to fix. However, a Cleveland woman was the first woman to receive a settlement because of a ruptured implant. Dow Corning was ordered to pay her $170,000.
1982: The FDA wants to put silicone implants into a Class III category which would require manufacturers to prove they were safe to use. They were finally able to do this in 1988.
1984: Several years of litigation involving breast implants kicks off. People were saying the implants caused everything from autoimmune disorders to cancer.
1992: A voluntary moratorium is called for by David Kessler, the FDA’s commissioner at the time. He wanted time to consider new research on the safety of silicone implants. The moratorium is lifted several months later, but only women getting breast reconstruction were allowed to get implants.
1994-1995: The Mayo Clinic and the American College of Rheumatology finds that silicone breast implants did not increase the risk for connective-tissue diseases or other systemic diseases. The Harvard Nurses Epidemiologic Study published in the New England Journal of Medicine comes to the same conclusion. Over the next several years, a variety of research bodies will attest to the safety of silicone implants.
2002: Although celebrity women have been getting implants for years, it was always a public secret until Dolly Parton outed herself this year. This started an avalanche of public self-outings by celebrities such as Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Victoria Beckham, Denis Richards, Sharon Osbourne and many others. The stigma of breast augmentation quickly fades.
2011: The FDA approves a new type of silicone breast implant manufactured by Sientra, making them the third U.S. manufacturer to produce them.
What once began as a naughty little secret between a woman and her doctor has become a commonplace and socially acceptable cosmetic procedure that can improve a woman’s appearance and boost her self-esteem. If you are ready to explore your options with breast augmentation,  check out the painless breast implant surgery offered by South Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Paul  Wigoda.

Dr. Paul Wigoda Reviews New FDA Approved Silicon Breast Implant Gels

saline vs. silicon

Painless breast implant specialist Dr. Paul Wigoda says he will wait a couple years to see how the Sientra brand of silicone gel-filled breast implants perform before adding them as an option for his breast surgery patients.

Although breast implants have been around in one form or another since the 1960’s, only two silicone-based implants have made the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) short list of approved devices. But women looking to enhance their figures now have a third option available to them. The FDA recently released a statement announcing the conditional approval of a silicone gel-filled breast implant by Sientra, Inc.

The approval is based on clinical trials conducted over three years with 1,788 participants. The results of these studies fell in line with other breast implants already on the market. However, the approval from the FDA is based on additional studies that will measure the long-term effects or complications that may arise from using the product.

William Maisel, deputy director for science at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health stated that the data indicates there was reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness but that women should still endeavor to fully understand the risks associated with breast implants before undergoing a breast augmentation procedure. But the real question is how eager are plastic surgeons to try out these new implants?

“It’s always nice to have more options and for there to be competition between businesses so they strive to provide the best products possible. The two primary breast implant companies today are Allergan and Mentor. Both of them have excellent products that have been tested over many years,” comments Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon Dr. Paul Wigoda, “With any new implant I personally would wait a few years to see how it performs before I’d use it on a patient. If these new implants are found to be better in some way than what the other companies offer, then it certainly would be something I’d consider using. At this time I don’t know of any reason to change from the implants I currently use.”

While it is always nice to play with a shiny new toy when you first get it, sometimes it’s good to stick with the tried and true for awhile. If you are thinking about breast augmentation surgery, talk to an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Paul Wigoda about the many options currently available to you.