The Future of Breast Augmentation: Here’s What You Can Expect
by Cosmetic Blogger Emmy Owens
Year after year, breast augmentation better cements its reputation as one of the most reliable and effective options for cosmetic enhancement. Thanks to its booming popularity, the race is on to improve breast augmentation even further, and doctors and researchers are hard at work every day to keep up with the changing demands of patients. Expect to see some exciting advancements and FDA approvals over the next several years. Here are some of the innovations you should keep an eye out for.
Drop the Weight
Up to 30% lighter than many silicone and saline implants, Israel’s B-Lite implants are poised to take Western markets by storm. Already widely used in several European countries, B-Lite’s silicone filling is made lighter thanks to hollow borosilicate microspheres. Their silicone shells are the same shells used in conventional implants, so their strength and integrity are already proven. The creators of the B-Lite implant, brothers Dr. Jacky Govrin and Dael Govreen-Segal, have demonstrated that lighter implants lead to less breast sagging, skin stretching, and other aesthetic complications often associated with larger, heavier implants. B-Lites can’t be used in the United States until they undergo the rigorous FDA approval process, but they may be in a plastic surgeon’s office near you sooner than later.
The Best of Both Worlds
For years, breast augmentation patients have had a choice between saline and silicone implants. The IDEAL IMPLANT® gives patients a third option: both. Approved by the FDA in late 2014, the IDEAL IMPLANT uses a sterile saline filling housed within a series of silicone shells. The IDEAL IMPLANT contours snugly to the chest wall, and its silicone layers prevent the excessive bouncing, movement, and rippling associated with saline implants. Although the IDEAL IMPLANT is FDA-approved, don’t expect to see it immediately available. Manufacturing is expected to be limited until mid-2015. Check their website for a list of surgeons who currently offer the IDEAL IMPLANT.
Think Small to Go Big
Rather than using one large implant to enhance the size of a breast, some doctors are investigating the efficacy of “microimplants” — small, raisin-sized silicone implants that can be added to a breast by the hundreds. This approach can benefit a patient in several different ways. If one microimplant ruptures, for example, there’s not much filling to leak out, and the size and shape of the affected breast is likely to remain unchanged. A surgery using microimplants requires a much smaller incision, too — some sources say only about 6 millimeters in length. Compared to the typical 2-inch incision required for many of today’s breast augmentations, that’s pretty impressive. (For the scar-conscious, an option called endoscopic breast augmentation is already available. According to the website of Dr. Arthur Cambeiro, a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation in Las Vegas, the endoscopic option uses a conventional saline implant but doesn’t leave any scar on the breast.)
Finally, a procedure that uses microimplants can take “natural-looking” results to the next level because they can be selectively placed precisely where a patient wants to see more volume. And using small devices placed within the breast tissue rather than one large implant below the breast can leave augmented breasts looking and feeling like they’re composed entirely of natural tissue. More testing is needed before microimplants are available to the public, but this option shows exciting promise for future patients.