Breast Implant History

Breast Implant History
Author: babaNK

Breast implant (breast augmentation) is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures in both the UK and USA. This statement is supported by the fact that according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons there were approximately 329,000 breast implant procedures performed in the United States alone in 2006 and the figures seem to be continuously rising.

Breast Implants have been known to be used since 1895 to enlarge the size and shape of women’s breasts. The timeline below gives a brief overview of the history of breast enlargement and the various types of breast implants which have been attempted:

Breast Augmentation Timeline

1895-1920’s: earliest breast augmentation procedures were attempted. Paraffin injections were used to enlarge the breast size. This procedure was eventually discarded due to high rates of infection and other complications.

1920’s- 1940’s: breast implants were attempted using fatty tissue extracted from the belly and buttock areas. This breast augmentation procedure was eventually also discarded in the 1940’s as the body would quickly reabsorb most of the fat leaving the breasts looking asymmetrical and lumpy.

1950’s: during this period breast augmentation was attempted by using polyvinyl sponges as breast implants. Other types of synthetic sponges where also attempted but all were found to shrink and harden after about one year. Alongside this, infection rates were also noted to be high with this type of breast implant and eventually the procedure was stopped.

1961: the first silicone breast implant was developed by Thomas Cronin and Franks Gerow who were two plastic surgeons based in Houston, Texas. This breast implant is now known as the Cronin-Gerow implant or first generation silicone breast implant.

1962: the first silicon breast implant surgery was attempted. Over time silicone breast implants have been continually enhanced and now we are using 4th and 5th generation silicone implants for breast augmentation.

1964: Saline filled breast implants were first produced in France in 1964. Saline breast implants became particularly popular in the United States in the 1990’s with the restrictions which were placed on silicone breast implants at the time.

1964-2007: since the manufacturing of the original saline and silicone breast implants; continuous refinement has taken place to make both types of breast implants safer and reliable. Many comprehensive studies have taken place since the early 1990’s to assess if there is a link between silicone breast implants and systemic diseases. The consensus of these studies is that there is no clear link between silicone breast implants and systemic diseases, including breast cancer, rheumatic disorders or any auto immune condition. Millions of women throughout the world now continue to enjoy the benefits of having successful breast augmentations.

The Hurlingham Clinic is one of the leading breast surgery clinics in London specialising in Breast Lift, Breast Uplift and other forms of cosmetic surgery. If you are considering having breast augmentation then please contact us on 020 7348 6380 to arrange a consultation with one of our fully qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons who will be more than happy to discuss your individual requirements with you in depth.
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