Employed for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes, breast implants are one of the most widely-used and controversial prostheses available. The development of safe, reliable products is vital to the future of this important field of surgery. Biomaterials in plastic surgery reviews the history, materials and safety issues associated with breast implants.

Beginning with an introduction to the history of biomaterials used for breast augmentation, Biomaterials in plastic surgery goes on to discuss development issues. It then discusses the chemistry and physical properties of biomedical silicones before reviewing cohesive gel and polyurethane foam implants. The book concludes by analysing the epidemiological evidence on the safety issues relating to breast implants, followed by a review of retrieval and analysis of breast implants emphasizing strength, durability and failure mechanisms.

With its distinguished editors and international team of expert contributors, Biomaterials in plastic surgery is an important guide for surgeons, manufacturers and all those researching this important field.

Key Features

  • Comprehensively examines the history, materials and safety issues associated with breast implants
  • Provides an overview of the history of biomaterials used for breast augmentation and goes on to discuss the development and chemical and physical properties of biomedical silicones
  • Reviews cohesive gel breast implants and polyurethane foam breast implants


Materials scientists, biologists, chemists and clinicians who are involved in this field of research; engineers in industry and academia who are concerned with research and development

Table of Contents

Contributor contact details

Woodhead Publishing Series in Biomaterials


Chapter 1: The history of biomaterials used for breast augmentation


1.1 Introduction

1.2 Injectable materials

1.3 Sponges

1.4 Breast implants

1.5 Other forms of texturing

1.6 Inflatable implants

1.7 Trilucent (LipoMatrix) implants – 1995 to 2000

1.8 Acknowledgements

Chapter 2: The development of breast implants


2.1 Introduction

2.2 Breast implant evolution

2.3 Alternative types of implant and safety aspects

2.4 Future trends

Chapter 3: The chemistry and physical properties of biomedical silicones


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Properties of silicones

3.3 The main forms of silicones/siloxanes

3.3.3 Silicone gels

3.3.4 Formulation of silicones

3.4 Silicones in breast implants

Chapter 4: Cohesive gel breast implants


4.1 Introduction

4.2 Available form stable breast implants

4.3 Selection of the appropriate form stable breast implant

4.4 Preoperative planning

4.5 Incisions and surgical technique

4.6 Problems and complications

Chapter 5: Polyurethane foam covered breast implants


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Capsular contracture and the role of polyurethane foam in its prevention

5.3 Comparison of polyurethane foam covered implants with smooth and textured surfaced implants

5.4 Safety when using polyurethane foam breast implants

5.5 Use in secondary procedures

5.6 Disadvantages of polyurethane foam breast implants

5.7 Conclusions

Chapter 6: The safety of breast implants: epidemiologic studies


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Connective tissue disease

6.3 Offspring effects


No. of pages:
© 2012
Woodhead Publishing
Electronic ISBN:
Print ISBN:

About the editors

W Peters

Walter Peters is Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of Toronto, Canada.

H Brandon

Harold Brandon is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University in St Louis, USA.

K L Jerina

Kenneth Jerina is the Earl E. And Myrtle E. Walker Professor of Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University in St Louis.

C Wolf

Clarence Wolf is a former Professor (now retired) in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Washington University at St Louis.

V L Young

V. L. Young is former Chief of Surgical Services at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Missouri, USA, and is a founding partner of the BodyAesthetic Plastic Surgery and Skincare Center.


"This book should be essential reading for biomedical specialists in the field of breast reconstruction, particularly epidemiologists, research and development, regulation, enforcement and litigation, as well as policy-makers in government. It would also provide considerable assistance to reviewers of safety and performance of such products, since it balances important subjects successfully…The book is highly recommended."--Journal of Medical Device Regulation, February 2014
"For the academic surgeon who desires a grouping of articles specifically related to breast implants in one place, this book fills the bill."--Doody's book reviews