January 29, 2009
Silicone, Silicone Gels, and Silicone Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation using silicone breast implants has become our most popular procedure over the past year here at Chrysalis Cosmetics in Sacramento California near Roseville and Stockton. It is really not surprising as silicones make up 90% of the earth’s outer crust. Silicone is found in almost everything we use (lotions, shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes) usually as dimethylsilicone silica, silica dimethyl silylate, and cyclopentasiloxane. One of the reasons for silicone being used so readily is its abundant supply, it variety of forms and uses as well as its safety profile. Silicone exists as a solid, a gel or even a liquid depending upon the number of bonds it has with its neighboring silicone or other element. Because silicone is so malleable, a cohesive gel has been created that is approved for use in humans that feel very similar to breast tissue. Cohesive gel is a term meant to describe a state between a gel and a solid.
It would make sense that silicone would work as a synthetic breast as you would want something with the feel of tissue that could move with your normal tissue but would maintain its shape and stay together if its shell broke.
The only silicone breast implants that are available now for implant are either solid or gels. Most women prefer a (cohesive) gel silicone implant for their breast augmentation and most men prefer a solid silicone implant for their pectoralis muscle augmentation. The only silicone gels now available in the Unites States are cohesive gels – soft, mobile yet even if the outer protective shell of the implant breaks (and it can over time from oxidation) – the inner gel will stay together until removed by your plastic surgeon.
In the 60’s and 70’s the first two generations of silicone implant had a gel that was not as cohesive and as such it ended up spreading throughout the breast tissue and into the lymph nodes. Prior to 1960 some people were just injecting silicone (meant to lubricate machinery) into the breast. As such this impure silicone caused a vigorous tissue response and often created breast that were much distorted over time and the droplets were difficult to remove. Many women required mastectomies to completely remove the micro droplets that often migrated throughout the breast and chest. Since then silicone is now medical grade, pure and more cohesive. In the near future we may see a variety of cohesive gels that vary in their firmness with some being almost form stable (like a gummy bear or a jello).
In the implant you choose for enhancing your breast is a very personal choice. This is why it is so important to review the choices of breast implants prior to your consultation or surgery. At Chrysalis Cosmetics, Dr Perry will examine you and help you make an informed decision on what implant is right for your breast augmentation.
The surgical technique for placing your silicone or saline breast implant is similar however the incision is slightly (2 cm) longer when placing a gel implant as it is filled prior to placement and the saline is filled after placement. I recommend silicone implants for women who want a more natural look and feel without clothes on. I hope this is helpful.