A brief history of silicone breast implants in the US

In 1992, the FDA imposed a moratorium on the use of silicone implants pending further research. While large studies were underway to determine their safety, the FDA did allow for their use to physicians participating in the IRB study and for limited indications.

During his early years of practice, Dr. Buford was able to use silicone implants through this study and gained tremendous experience in their use and in the ability to maximize their specific characteristics to create a more natural look and feel for his patients.

Eventually in 2006, as the result of substantial research supporting their safety, the FDA approved silicone gel implants from the two main breast implant manufacturers, MENTOR and McGhan (Allergan Medical).

How safe are modern silicone gel implants?

Thanks to the extensive research performed over that period of time, we were able to determine that, by and large, silicone breast implants are a very safe medical device—and, in fact, often have fewer rates of complication (such as rippling and capsular contracture) than their saline counterparts.

Since their reintroduction into the US market, approximately 60% of all breast implants used are now made from silicone and the prediction is that over time this number will climb to the mid-90s. These newer implants are much different than their predecessors in that the internal silicone gel is more cohesive.

Modern silicone implants are stronger and more natural-looking than ever

In simple terms, this means that the silicone particles themselves are more tightly bound to each other so that a firmer, more “form stable” shape is now achieved. In addition, the outer shell is thicker, so there is less issue with folding or deformation of the implant. We are also now more educated on the relative safety of silicone itself. As consumers, we are continually coming into contact with silicone since it is commonly contained with our moisturizers, deodorants, and other frequently used products.

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and a proud member of the esteemed MENTOR Worldwide Education Council and advisor to Allergan Medical, Dr. Buford has the opportunity to participate in the direction of breast implant technology and education of future breast surgeons.

Ready for a Consultation?

If you would like more information on silicone implants and their safety, please contact our Denver, Colorado Plastic Surgeon. Gregory A. Buford, MD, FACS, PCEO can answer your questions and address your concerns, and he can also meet with you in an initial consultation here at our practice to discuss your goals.