Breast augmentation is a type of cosmetic surgery that uses breast implants to change the size and shape of the breasts. Breast implant surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in the USA and UK. However, breast implants have been used since 1890’s, but the procedure has been significantly improved since that time. Until modern implants were invented, breast augmentation procedure entailed many health risks and complications. Today, the surgery is generally safe and with good outcomes.
History of Breast Implant Procedure
- 1895 – 1920’s – First breast cosmetic surgeries were done using paraffin injections. These attempts, however, led to severe consequences since it caused formation of the lumps in the breasts and numerous infections.
- 1920’s - 1940’s – When paraffin injections as breast implant material were abandoned, doctors started to use fatty tissue obtained from the abdomen and buttocks area to transfer it into the breats. But, this procedure was also ineffective as the body quickly reabsorbs this natural fat resulting in lumpy and asymmetrical breasts.
- 1950’s – Breast augmentation procedure was performed with polyvinyl sponges. Surgeons also tried other types of synthetic sponges but it did not give desired results because these materials were found to shrink and harden within a year. These attempts also resulted in high rates of infections and caused organ damage.
- 1961 – Plastic surgeons Thomas Cronin and Franks Gerow from Huston, Texas created the first silicone breast implant. This silicone breast implant is now known as the “first generation” or Cronin-Gerow implant.
- 1962 - Breast implant procedure using silicone was attempted for the first time. This was performed by injecting silicone directly into the breasts. However, it also caused complications like infections and lumps because of which silicone breast implants has to be improved. Nowadays, breast cosmetic surgery is using 4th and 5th generation of the silicone implants.
- 1964 – That year, the first saline filled breast implants were developed in France. This type of breast implants gained great popularity in the USA in 1990’s when the FDA restricted the use of silicone as a breast implant material.
- 1964 - 2007 – during this time, the initial silicone and saline breast implants were modified and improved in order to eliminate side effects and get the desired results. From the beginning of the 1990’s many comprehensive research studies were conducted to determine whether there is a link between silicone breast implants and systemic diseases. It was found that the direct link between these implants and diseases like breast cancer, rheumatic disorders and autoimmune diseases does not exist.