Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Wm Brennan received a patent to experiment with micro-implants in late Fall 2008, and this breast implant alternative is quickly gaining interest across the country.
Instead of inserting a large silicone or saline implant into the breast tissues, Dr. Brennan says it's possible to create a natural-looking breast with hundreds of raisin-sized implants. Micro-implants are made of silicone just like their larger counterparts, but each implant can be inserted into the tissues with an incision as small as 5 mm. By inserting hundreds of these miniature implants evenly throughout the breast tissue, the surgeon believes women could achieve the volume they want and forgo the 'plastic' look of conventional implants.
Other benefits of micro-implants may include:
- Limited downtime; recovery and healing may take only a few weeks instead of a few months
- Less post-operative pain
- Easy recovery process
- Less scar tissue
- Can be performed on a quick outpatient basis
- Lower or similar in cost as conventional breast implants
Dr. Brennan has been experimenting with the implants since 2008, and the implants are still in their testing phases. They have not received FDA approval, and there is not enough data available that proves these implants are safe, or even effective in creating natural-looking breasts.
Still, micro implants may be an option for breast augmentation patients in the near future. Over 350,000 women underwent breast augmentation in 2007, and despite the economic slump in 2008 and early 2009, the procedure is still one of the most sought-after plastic surgery enhancements.
A survey conducted as part of the research process of these implants indicates that over 60% of women would choose micro-implants over conventional forms of breast enlargement; if micro-implants do make it to the consumer market, plastic surgeons who can offer these specialty implants may be able to attract more patients and provide another option for hundreds of breast implant candidates.