Breast implants

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A breast implant is a prosthesis used to enlarge the size of a woman's breasts (known as breast augmentation) for cosmetic reasons, to reconstruct the breast (e.g. after a mastectomy or to correct genetic deformities), or as an aspect of male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation is the third most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. In 2005, 291,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed.

There are two primary types of breast implants:

  • Saline filled and silicone gel filled implants have a silicone elastomer shell filled with sterile saline liquid.
  • Silicone gel implants have a silicone shell filled with a viscous silicone gel.


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