Think that the first breast augmentation surgery was in the 1980s? Try earlier, and flip a couple numbers to read the 1890s. While breast augmentation is one of the most highly performed cosmetic surgeries both nationally and internationally, doctors have been testing ways to enhance volume for decades.
And, yes, it has come a long way.
Back in the 1890s, paraffin was injected into the bust for enhancement, but this treatment stopped rather quickly after it was discovered that the ingredient was seeping into other areas of the body.
Years later, more specifically in the 1920s and 1930s, doctors tried an “early version” of a fat transfer. They actually extracted fat from parts of the patient’s body and injected it into the breasts. This treatment didn’t have a very long shelf life.
In the 1950s, the introduction of the insertion of sponges, cartilage, polyurethane and even glass balls were utilized to examine what method was best. Out of all of these, the sponges worked well, but the results were not long lasting. The sponges would shrink and become stiff after a period of time.
In 1962, a shift in breast augmentation occurred. Timmie Jean Lindsey, hailing from Houston, Texas, agreed to undergo the surgery using silicone implants. What she originally went into surgery for was to remove tattoos on her breasts and what she got in return was an enhancement from a B to C cup and a gratis otoplasty which she wanted for aesthetic improvement.
In the operating room were Drs. Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin performing this historical surgery.
Little did anyone know that this two hour procedure would change the way breast augmentation would be done in the future.
For Cronin, the concept really became a reality when he gave his presentation at the 1963 International Society of Plastic Surgeons convention in Washington DC. Those in attendance thought it was remarkable.
And as many say, the rest is history.
Known as medical devices, breast implants have solid silicone shell. Inside them, doctors and patients have a choice whether they prefer a silicone or saline filled implant. Each kind is approved by the FDA.
And since the 1960s, these implants have improved and changed dramatically including these following nuances and features:
- The shell texture of an implant
- The projection and profile of an implant
- The anatomic shape of an implant
- Diameter of an implant
It’s also important to note that while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conclude that the silicone-gel implants to be “generally safe,” it is advisable that patients who undergo an enhancement using these medical devices communicate with their surgeons on a frequent basis. Routine postoperative appointments are part of this protocol, and sometimes an MRI may be recommended every few years.
When a woman decides to undergo a surgery such as this, it should never be done in haste. It’s always recommended to have a thorough consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, discuss the benefits of the procedure, choose the right size of an implant which is proportionate to the body, and touch upon any risks factors.