The Fascinating History of Breast Augmentation Surgery

How Breast Augmentation Surgery Has Evolved

From the first-ever attempt at breast augmentation in the 1800s to the technologically advanced procedures of the 21st century, the journey of breast implant surgery has been fascinating.

Today, breast implants are safe and natural looking – and breast augmentation surgery requires less invasive techniques with a more rapid recovery! But this wasn’t always the case.

In this article, the breast augmentation experts at AMAE Plastic Surgery in the Troy, MI area take a look at the interesting past, the current scenario, and the future prospects of breast implants.

The Earliest Breast Augmentation Surgery

The concept of breast augmentation originated in the 1800s, with the first recorded attempt being made by German surgeon Vincenz Czerny in 1895. He transferred a benign fatty lump, also known as a lipoma, from a patient’s back to her breast, aiming to correct asymmetry after removing a breast tumor. Surprisingly, this procedure was relatively successful!

The Early 20th Century Experiments with Breast Augmentation

Shortly thereafter, various substances were experimented with for breast augmentation. In the 1890s, paraffin (a soft wax derived from petroleum or coal), was injected into breasts, but this method led to severe complications, including inflammation and tissue necrosis.

In the 1920s and 1930s, fat from other parts of the body was transferred to the breasts, but the body eventually reabsorbed the fat, rendering the procedure ineffective. In the 1950s, several foreign materials, including polyurethane, sponges, cartilage, and even wood and glass balls were tried as breast implants. These methods, however, were soon abandoned due to the not surprising unfavorable outcomes and complications they produced.

The Advent of Silicone Implants in Breast Augmentation

The era of contemporary breast implant surgery began in the early 1960s when Drs. Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin invented silicone breast implants. The idea was reportedly inspired when Dr. Gerow squeezed a plastic bag filled with blood and commented on its similarity to the feel of a woman’s breast.

In 1962, a woman named Timmie Jean Lindsey became the first recipient of silicone breast implants. The surgery, performed in Houston, Texas, enhanced her breast size from a B cup to a C cup. The result thrilled Lindsey, who later commented that her augmented breasts felt soft and natural.

The 1980s and 1990s saw a wave of concern about the safety of silicone implants. Critics claimed that the silicone used in the implants was causing autoimmune diseases – although it is now recognized that the studies on this were flawed. However, in response to these concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of silicone implants in primary breast augmentation surgery in 1992. (They were still permitted for breast reconstruction following mastectomy and for replacing existing silicone implants.)

So, during the ban, saline implants filled with a sterile saltwater solution became the only FDA-approved option for breast augmentation. However, after extensive clinical studies conducted over several years, implant manufacturers disproved the theory that silicone causes autoimmune diseases. Consequently, the FDA lifted the ban in 2006, allowing silicone implants back on the market for patients over 22 years old. These implants continue to be popular due to their close resemblance to the look and feel of natural breasts.

While saline implants are “round” or “globe” shaped, silicone implants can be formed into a teardrop shape like that of a human breast – for a more natural appearance.

21st Century Breast Augmentation Advancements

Today, patients have a wide range of choices when it comes to Breast Augmentation. Along with saline and traditional silicone breast implants, there is a new generation of “gummy bear” silicone breast implants. These are a highly cohesive and form-stable silicone implants. The filling material of these implants stays intact even when squeezed or twisted, providing a more natural feel – in addition to preventing leakage!

Today, improved breast implant surface textures have contributed to reduced risks of complications like capsular contracture, enhancing the long-term safety and satisfaction of breast augmentation procedures. And, advancements in surgical techniques, like the use of smaller incisions and precise placement of implants, have led to quicker recovery times and minimized scarring.

Additionally, the technique of autologous fat transfer has been perfected, making “natural breast augmentation” a viable option. This procedure involves enhancing the breasts with the patient’s own fat taken from another part of the body, providing a natural enhancement of about one cup size.

And, the emergence of 3D imaging – such as Vectra 3D computer imaging available in the Troy area at AMAE Plastic Surgery – has revolutionized the breast augmentation process. Surgeons and patients can now visualize the potential outcomes of breast implant surgery BEFORE breast augmentation – aiding in selecting the most beautiful implant size and shape.

Breast Augmentation Surgery |Troy, MI Area

Breast augmentation has come a long way since its inception – in terms of safety and natural looking results. Thanks to e continuous advancements in this field, breast augmentation surgery remains the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure worldwide.

Renowned Troy, MI area plastic surgeon Dr. Ali has helped thousands of women achieve their desired breast size and shape. If you live in the greater Troy, MI area, schedule a consultation today and see what breast augmentation surgery at AMAE Plastic Surgery can do for you.

Breast Augmentation |Troy, MI Area: 248.335.7200