Breast augmentation has been changing the lives of women for many centuries now. It is believed, even in the earliest centuries, that women with fuller breasts are more beautiful than those with smaller breast cups. This is the reason why women in Europe used corsets that pushes their breasts upward to create the illusion of having fuller breast and improved cleavage.
In order to fully understand breast augmentation, we must first look into how it developed over the centuries. The trial and error methods used by the earliest surgeons have been the stepping stones of what we now know as breast augmentation. This procedure has been constantly evolving and changing even to this day. Researchers are still experimenting for better ways to augment breasts that could possibly eliminate some of the risks and complications of the present breast augmentation methods.
History of Breast Augmentation
The first breast augmentation procedure can be traced back as far as the year 1890 when the procedure was performed using a paraffin injection. The paraffin substance is known today as a medium to check for any gun powder residue in a human body. The liquid paraffin used in the earliest form of breast augmentation led to certain infections as well as the formation of lumps in the breasts when the paraffin hardens. But even so, the procedure was performed from the 1890s to 1920s for women who wanted to have improved breast size.
In the year 1895, Doctor Vincenz Czerny performed a breast augmentation operation by transplanting a benign tissue growth from the patient’s back. Of course, this procedure was limited to the woman who had the benign growth because not all women experience benign growth of tissues all the time.
The 1920s era marked the use of fat transplants in breast augmentation. The procedure back then includes the surgical removal of fatty tissues from the belly and buttocks which were then transposed into the breast. However, this breast augmentation form didn’t prove to be successful because the body reabsorbed the fat. The women who have undergone this procedure experienced lumpy and lopsided breasts after the fat has been absorbed. By 1940s, this procedure was discontinued.
By 1950s, other substances were tried in breast augmentation such as polyester, ivory balls, grounded rubber, and the sponge. But these too have caused undesirable effects on the patient’s bodies as well as a number of health risks. Also, these substances were found to harden and shrink which attributed to the risk of having breast cancer from breast augmentation.
In 1960s, silicone injections were introduced for the public’s consumption and this included a new method for breast augmentation. The liquid gel form of silicone was directly injected into the breasts. The results were overwhelming and more women have opted for breast augmentation with silicone injections. However, as years have passed, the patients experienced complications of chronic inflammation, infections, and lumps from the injected silicone gel.
Because of the astounding result of silicone injections that made the breasts appear naturally bigger, researchers began developing breast implants that revolved around the idea of the silicone substance. In 1961, the first silicone breast implant was fully developed by two cosmetic surgeons, Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow, and this time the silicone gel was encased in a silicone shell.
By 1962, Cronin and Gerow performed the first successful breast augmentation using their created breast implant. The first breast implant was in the form of the teardrop shape and in the 1970s, they developed breast implants with lesser dense gels and thinner shells as well. These new breast implants provided a more natural look for the augmented breasts however, they were found to rupture and leak easily.
In 1982, the use of silicone breast implants were withdrawn because of the health risks associated with the rupturing and leaking of silicone gels. For several years, researchers have developed a replacement for the banned silicone breast implants and they have formed the saline-filled implants.
By 1992, saline-filled implants were widely available for breast augmentation but these didn’t provide the same results like the silicone breast implants did. The augmented breasts look and feel a bit unnatural and this has led to lesser women opting for breast augmentation.
In 1995, Soybean oil implants were introduced as an additional natural approach for breast augmentation. However, in 1999, soybean oil implants were withdrawn because the filler found in it proved to be toxic in a human body when it begins to break down. Not all countries had soybean oil implants approved.
The year 2006 marked the reopening of silicone breast implants available for public use. The ban was lifted after carefully studying the pros and cons of the silicone implants but due to newer technologies and development techniques, silicone implants used in breast augmentation nowadays are more sturdy and less prone to rupture and leakage.
Currently in development in relation to the breast augmentation methods is the development of the gummy bear silicone breast implants. This new age implant is also called cohesive silicone implant and it is still undergoing clinical trials before being released into the market. The cohesive gummy bear like silicone gel might prove to be the solution against implant rupture and leakage since the gummy bear silicone gel doesn’t escape from the implant if a rupture does happen.