Modern Breast Implant Devices
The first breast augmentation with a silicone implant was performed in 1962. The silicone breast implants of the 1960s are referred to as first generation devices. The technology of silicone breast implants has improved significantly over the past 50 years. The silicone breast implants available today are referred to as fifth generation devices.
Both saline and silicone breast implants are composed of an outer silicone shell. What differs is the filling; with silicone breast implants being filled with silicone gel and saline breast implants being filled with saline (salt water).
In 1992 the United States FDA placed a moratorium on silicone gel breast implants because there was inadequate information at that time to demonstrate that they were safe devices. After the 1992 moratorium silicone breast implants continued to be used in other countries and even in the United States if patients who received them were enrolled in a study. Extensive medical research has failed to find any causative link between silicone breast implants and connective tissue diseases such as systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematous, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. In 2006 the United States FDA lifted the moratorium on silicone breast implants. Today, patients can choose silicone or saline breast implants with most patients choosing silicone.