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History of Breast Implants

Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2013 by admin

As a plastic surgeon it is interesting to see how the technology that we take for granted these days actually came about. Breast implants have been around in one form or another. In this post I will outline the history and evolution of breast implants. Let’s just say we’ve come a long way….

1890 – Dr. Robert Gersuny performed the first surgical breast augmentation procedure with paraffin injection.

  • This led to infections
  • Lump formations in the breast
  • By 1920s paraffin injections became out of favor for breast augmentation

Early 1900s – physicians used other substances as breast implant fillers — ivory, glass balls, ground rubber, ox cartilage, Terylene wool,  and gutta-perch

1920 – Fat transplants were tried.  Fatty tissue was surgically removed from the belly and buttock areas and transferred into the breast

  • This was unsuccessful because the body would quickly reabsorb most of the fat, leaving the breast lumpy and lopsided.
  • By 1940s, this procedure was given up.

1960′s – Silicone injections directly into the breast was tried

  • Complications of chronic inflammation, infections, and lumps
  • These complications caused this form of breast augmentation to fall out of favor.

1961 – The first silicone breast implant was developed.

1988 – Dow Corning, one of the silicone breast implants largest manufacturer settled a class action lawsuit for 3.2 billion for 170,000 women

1992 – Only saline-filled implants have been allowed in the American general market for cosmetic breast augmentation.  Silicone breast implants had been available only to special patients through FDA approved trials

2001 – Brava Breast Enhancement and Shaping System was introduced

  • Bra-like device that creates a vacuum over the breasts that induce the breast to possibly grow about one cup size.  Must be worn 10 hours a day for several months to create a breast augmentation effect.

2006 – November, the FDA (USA) approves silicone breast implants again

2006 - November, the FDA (USA) approves silicone breast implants again

Above are some of the objects used for breast augmentation in the past. Thankfully, with modern technology and a lot of scientific data, the breast implants available to women today not only look great but are extremely safe.

To learn more about breast augmentation and to view before and after pictures visit my website at www.drdadvandplasticsurgery.com.

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