Gel implants, used routinely as part of breast augmentations all over the world, have now been in use for 50 years, but what are the important lessons and questions from half a century of clinical use?
Few medical devices are still in use nearly 50 years after introduction. Silicone gel breast implants – despite the controversies over the years – are one of the exceptions. Half a century after silicone gel breast implants were first introduced clinically, what are some of the lessons that plastic surgeons have learned about these devices, and what have they yet to uncover? These questions are discussed in a new editorial, “Silicone Gel Breast Implants at 50: The State of the Science,” appearing in the November issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
“In this piece, I wanted to point out specific highlights from the history of silicone gel breast implants and the implications for plastic surgeons,” said author Mark Jewell, MD, an Assistant Clinical Professor Plastic Surgery, Oregon Health Science University, Portland, Oregon, and former co-chair of the Joint American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)–American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) Breast Implant Task
Force from 2005 to 2006.
He added: “One important lesson is that plastic surgeons cannot simply be end users of a device. Instead, we need to be clinician-scientists, collecting data on a daily basis.”