2017 marks the fifty fifth anniversary of modern breast augmentation, one of the most common cosmetic surgical procedures currently available. At the La Jolla Institute of Plastic Surgery, we are dedicated to helping patients achieve their ideal body image in a safe and comfortable environment.
However, prior to the current standards of care that practices like ours hold, breast augmentation has not always been as comfortable, safe, and satisfactory as it is now.
1890s-1960s: Before Modern Breast Implants
The surgeon Robert Gersuny attempted to implant breasts with paraffin wax in 1889. While the wax implants would not melt in the body, patients exhibited severe complications.
The earliest example of breast augmentation without dramatic post-operative complications comes from the surgeon Vincenz Czerny in 1895. Dr. Czerny implanted adipose tissue from woman’s thigh into her breast, after she had undergone tumor removal. While this procedure managed to correct the asymmetry of the patient’s breasts, other doctors of the time would continue to experiment with non-biocompatible materials.
Throughout the early twentieth century, many patients would continue undergoing wax-based implant procedures, as well as a number of other treatments that involved ivory, glass balls, and even rubber.
1960s-1990s: Timmie Jean Lindsey and Silicone Implants
The mid-twentieth century marked a turning point in the development of the breast augmentation procedure. Patients of this time would often have sponges and other such materials implanted to change the shape and size of their breasts. While not plagued with complications, these materials were known for moving out of place.
In 1961, the first silicone breast implants were developed by Drs. Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin. Timmie Jean Lindsey, a factory worker, was the first to undergo implantation of the silicone fillers. The offer was accepted in exchange for the doctors pinning her ears back.
1990s-2000s: The Rise of Saline Implants
Silicone implants gained a great deal of popularity in the ensuing decades, due in part to their use by well-known public figures such as Pamela Anderson. However, with their popularity, implants became increasingly scrutinized. Thousands of lawsuits were filed against manufacturing companies such as Dow Corning, and with no conclusive information available at the time, silicone implants were all but banned.
It was at this point, in the early 1990’s, that saline implants gained prominence. These implants were preferred by many as they were softer, making them feel more natural, and had no adverse health effects if they broke.
2000s-Now: Increased Safety and Popularity
Over a decade after they had been unofficially banned, enough clinical trials had been performed to show that modern silicone implants would not cause health issues. With the first two decades of the new millennium, breast augmentation procedures continue to become more comfortable for patients, and improve increasingly natural results, whether saline or silicone implants are used.
Arizona Cosmetic Surgery in Phoenix are equipped to provide patients with ideally sized, shaped, and firmed breasts. We continue to strive for excellence and the total satisfaction of our patients, so contact us today to schedule your consultation for the latest in breast augmentation services.