50 Years of Breast Implants

This Spring marks the 50th anniversary since surgeons began using silicone breasts in the United States. As they say, “everything is bigger in Texas!” In 1961, a Texas surgeon began the breast implant story!

In 1962 Timmie Jean Lindsey was the first patient that Dr. Frank Gerow of Houston selected for this operation. Dr. Gerow and Dr. Thomas Cronin developed the first silicone implant with Dow Corning in 1961. Ms. Lindsey is doing well with her implants at age 80!

Implants have made many changes and challenges throughout the years. Several generations of more and more advance implants have occurred throughout the years. Not all has been good, and in January of 1992, Dr. David Kessler, the commissioner of the FDA asked for a voluntary moratorium on the use of silicone implants due to safety concerns. In April 1992 he ended this moratorium if patients receiving silicone implants were part of study protocols. From 1995 through 2000 multiple studies are released by Harvard, Mayo Clinic, the Institute of Medicine, and various other authorities conclude that silicone breast implants do not cause systemic diseases. In 2006 the FDA released silicone gel implants back to the market for general non-scientific protocol use.

Implants continue to advance and change. In early 2012 a third breast implant manufacturer was approved to distribute silicone implants in the United States. Silicone implants have become more and more accepted to the American public since their 2006 reintroduction with more ladies choosing silicone over saline in 2011. In my New Jersey breast implant practice approximately 65% of ladies choose silicone over saline! While certainly the devices themselves will likely continue to improve over the next 50 years, it is certain that they will remain very popular!

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