A Short History Of Breast Implants And Augmentation
While breast implants have become a common surgical procedure in an age where plastic surgery is more easily affordable and safer than ever, they are not a recent phenomenon. Surgical breast enlargement can trace its history as far back as the late 1800s.
The first breast enlargement procedures involved the injection of fluids into the breasts and more often than not, paraffin was used. The procedures were not an exact science and often resulted in the breasts becoming misshapen, lumpy and hard. Infections were also commonplace and treatments were not always obtainable.
The paraffin injections were abandoned when more refined surgical procedures became available. The next popular breast ‘implant’ procedure came about in the 1920s and involved transferring fatty tissues from elsewhere in the body and placing them inside the breasts. The procedure was not particularly successful either. The body’s natural response to the sudden arrival of fat was to break it down which meant people were again left with misshapen breasts. Other materials were tried and tested such as plastics and sponges but often they shrank inside the breast and hardened.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that silicone breast implants were used, creating far more believable looking and feeling results. The use of silicone breast implants has evolved since that time with many new generations of implants and with round and then tear drop shaped implants. There were some scares about silicone I the 1980’s but this has never been proven and silicone been cleared as safe the world over. However, alternatives did develop from this and saline was used. Saline is just a mixture of salt and water and because of that, should a rupture arise, there was far less cause for concern as the mixture would simply be absorbed by the body. However, the majority of implants are back to being silicone with thicker cohesive or ‘gummy bear’ breast implants. The new design makes the implants far more resistant to ruptures and leaks. The origin of the name is due to the way an implant holds its shape, even when sliced like a gummy bear sweet.