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The Pioneers Of Breast Enlargement Procedures

The Pioneers Of Breast Enlargement Procedures

Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin, two surgeons from Texas, are largely responsible for the direction in which breast enlargement and augmentation has progressed in this day and age, pioneering the idea of the silicone implant. Silicone itself is a chemical compound, a mixture of silicon, oxygen and carbon and was invented in Nottingham by university Professor F.S. Kipping in the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until 1961 that Gerow and Cronin came upon the idea of using it as a material for breast implants.

Gerow and Cronin developed the first generation of silicone implants in conjunction with the Dow Corning Corporation and after testing on dogs, the first enlargement procedure went ahead on a live person in 1962. Timmie Jean Lindsey, a housewife and mother from Texas let herself be the guinea pig for the doctors in exchange for them also taking the time to pin back her ears. The implants were regarded as an absolute success and Timmie was visited by doctors from far and wide who marvelled at the results of the procedure.

The implants were redesigned over the decades with many improvements to the design and construction. The implants started to get a rough surface to reduce the risk of hardening and better shells to reduce rupture. Then in the 1990’s the silicone used became more complex with thicker gel that keeps its shape yet feels soft. These cohesive gels also allowed the development of shaped implants.

Saline implants, an alternative to silicone implants, were invented in 1964 by Henry Jenny and Laboratoires Arion in France. Jenny actively pursued the idea of saline implants as he was not convinced of the safety of silicone implants, despite the research by Gerow and Cronin that deemed silicone as safe for use in the human body and biologically inactive. Indeed the safety of silicone is now well shown although many implants used in the USA are saline whereas the majority in Europe are silicone.