What Are Breast Implants?

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Brief History of Breast Implants

In the first half of the twentieth century, prior to the development of breast implants, many materials were injected into a woman’s breasts including paraffin, glass balls, ivory, wool, ox cartilage and other substances. Later on, during WWII, Japanese women were having silicone directly injected into a woman’s breasts on the assumption that american servicemen were more attracted to women with larger breasts. This led to disastrous results.

In 1961, Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow, both plastic surgeons, in conjunction with the Dow Corning Corporation, developed the first silicone breast implant. This consisted of a silicone bag called a “shell” which was then filled with silicone gel. The first augmentation mammoplasty was performed in 1962 using the Cronin–Gerow Implant, prosthesis model 1963. Later, saline was also used as a filler material.

Over the past several decades, the design and manufacturing processes used in creating breast implants have improved immensely. Implants are now stronger, softer, hold their shape better and give more natural results then previous versions. We are now well into the fifth generation of silicone gel implants.

Next Topic: What is the difference between saline and silicone gel implants? »

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