Paramus, NJ — Over 50 years ago Dr. Frank Gerow and Dr. Thomas Cronin of Houston developed the first silicone breast implant in collaboration with the Dow Corning Corporation, a feat which ignited a revolution in aesthetic healthcare and dramatically altered the ability for women to make improvements to their appearance as well as their self-confidence. Since 1962, breast augmentation has become the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure, with over 307,000 procedures performed last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). While the past 50 years have seen drastic changes to the materials and techniques used to perform silicone breast augmentation, Dr. Luis Zapiach, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New Jersey, says the anniversary marks a momentous milestone in plastic surgery, one he hopes celebrates the countless strides made towards achieving the safest, most effective results possible.
Although rudimentary forms of breast augmentation were around long before 1962, Dr. Zapiach says the development of the silicone breast implant provided the foundation for years of advanced medical research into the safety and efficacy of cosmetic surgery. The original design created by Dr. Gerow and Dr. Cronin was a thick silicone gel encased in a silicone rubber lining, a revolutionary idea that has since been vastly improved upon. Dr. Zapiach says the current line of breast implants have been able to produce unprecedented quality and natural-looking results with minimal scarring thanks to the numerous advanced techniques now available.
Regarding differences in between current implants and the first silicone implant designed in 1962, Dr. Zapiach says: “The first generation implants were tear-shaped and had industrial silicone encased in a thick, silicone shell with Dacron patches. We now use fifth generation implants, where the silicone gel is cohesive and form stable. The current implants are round in shape and have walls that prevent gel leakage, but are soft and pliable. These implants have been tested in over 80,000 women in the U.S. alone, and many other international studies have also been performed.”
As indicated by the demand for breast augmentation and other plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Zapiach says he believes silicone breast implants have had a positive impact on women’s abilities to feel confident about their appearances. He adds that this positive impact correlates directly with patient satisfaction ratings, which are some of the highest in plastic surgery. Dr. Zapiach also says the positive effects he has witnessed at his New Jersey plastic surgery practice are in many ways a product of the work that began 50 years ago with the silicone breast implant.
When asked how he thinks the development of the breast implant has helped shape the face of plastic surgery today, Dr. Zapiach replied: “The term ‘plastic surgery’ is derived from Greek, where it means modeling or sculpting, based on the ability to manipulate tissue in order to restore form or function to the human body. Implants have further enabled us to sculpt the human form for both reconstructive and cosmetic goals.”
Even with the numerous innovations made in the safety and success of breast implants, Dr. Zapiach says choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon and a dedicated practice is still one of the most important factors in achieving the highest quality results. He encourages patients to thoroughly research their procedure – whether it be a breast augmentation or tummy tuck surgery – as well as their surgeon before undergoing any treatment so as to ensure their procedure is performed with the utmost standards.
About Luis A. Zapiach, MD
A graduate of Rutgers University, Dr. Luis Zapiach earned his medical degree with honors from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his general surgery residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and his plastic surgery residency at Emory University, followed by a fellowship in Oculoplastic Surgery at Paces Plastic Surgery. Dr. Zapiach is dual board-certified in Plastic Surgery and General Surgery, and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Located at 1 West Ridgewood Avenue Suite 302 in Paramus, NJ, Dr. Zapiach’s practice can be reached at (201) 345-3518. He and his team can also be contacted online via the website artplasticsurgeons.com or facebook.com/artplasticsurgery. Additionally, current and prospective patients can visit Dr. Zapiach’s Twitter account at twitter.com/artplastics.