Breast augmentation. While it may seem like this process is something the modern world has innovated, and with good argument, too, it appears that this type of cosmetic surgery dates back to times when the first tampons were also made. Yes, breast augmentation has been around for a while now.
Although the procedures, equipments and materials used were not as advanced then as they are now,
there have been legit records of breast augmentation surgeries happening in the late 19th century.
This was a time when most of us thought they were all about natural-looks and being debonair back then.
Generally, the process is popular in the cosmetic surgery department and has less to do with health or medical reasons. Still a lot of people – men and women alike – have invested in this procedure ever since it started. No wonder breast augmentation tops the list of the most number of procedures performed each year. Here are 10 facts that will prove breast augmentation is older than you think.
Before the late 19th century, women did not have the choice as to what breasts they wanted to have. Women are stuck with the breasts that they were given and well, not get to do anything about it.
Thankfully, and with the help of a surgeon named Vincenz Czerny, the first breast augmentation happened back in 1895.
Although the main reasons for the first surgery are nothing like the common reasons that women who go through breast augmentation have now, the idea was the same.
The first ever patient who went through the process had a breast tumor, which was surgically removed. This procedure left a dent in the patient’s breast area. This is what prompted the surgeon to come up with a process that involved refilling the dent.
The tissues used for the breast augmentation process were also from the patient’s benign lumbar lipoma. The results were astonishing and thus started the era of this popular cosmetic surgery.
As with all other new innovations, the transition for this new process didn’t go smoothly.
Seeking records of breast augmentation in the early years, you will find that the first few decades of this new cosmetic innovation had a rocky start. Meaning, there have been a lot of trials and errors, but all with the intention to improve the process.
One particular case was that of a surgeon named Robert Gersuny. In 1889, he tried to innovate the process of breast augmentation by using materials other than the first ones used.
He experimented using paraffin injections to see whether it would produce the same or even better results. However, it was proven that it didn’t work.
Just like everything that started from scratch, since this was in the early 20th century, surgeons used the most basic materials for the procedure, so long as they have been proven safe for the body.
They did not have advanced technology back then, but they did have the motivation to procure and innovate the procedures, especially in terms of health and medical research.
In the early 20th century, surgeons used various things, all through a trial and error process. They used substances such as glass balls, ivory, ox cartilage, ground rubber, wool and gutta-percha. There have also been a wide use of polyethylene substances, such as polyethylene chips, sacks, tape or rubber. They also tried to use foam sponges and silicone prostheses.
Through all the trials and errors made in the first half of the 20th century,
surgeons and researchers have come up with enough data and study to systematize the procedure.
There are many cases and requests for breast augmentation. Each patient has a different set of medical or surgical needs, considering how their body may react to the procedure. So, surgeons still keep all their tabs open.
The simplest of the procedures is the flap-based augmentation which does not involve any foreign object to be inserted in the body. In the mid-20th century, Morton I. Berson (1945) and Jacques Maliniac (1950) each separately performed the first flap-based breast augmentation procedures in history. It also turned out to be successful, marking the start of this procedure.
A flap-based breast enhancement surgery is done by using the patient’s wall tissue, rotating it in the chest to a position that the patient prefers. This procedure will give emphasis to the area that the patient would like to accentuate, making the breasts look bigger.
Studies have also been conducted on a breast augmentation procedure that would not include surgery.
Surgery would leave marks and scars, whereas non-surgical procedures will leave the skin flawless.
This is why with the successful processes in flap-based breast enhancement procedures, surgeons and researchers still moved on to innovate a non-surgical process.
In the 1950’s, silicone injections were introduced to the public which garnered popularity and total cases of 50,000 women. The results, although initially good and had women’s approval, had a long-term issue. Eventually, women developed breast problems, such as breast hardening and silicone granulomas, which can only be treated through mastectomy.
Because of the silicone injectables failed process, American plastic surgeons once again moved to find another way to innovate the breast augmentation procedure.
In 1961, Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin, both American plastic surgeons, developed the first-ever prosthesis of a silicone breast.
The idea of this modernism is to have the silicone prosthesis inserted in the woman’s breasts, therefore increasing the size, texture and form. The procedure was widely accepted. It was the beginning of a new era in breast augmentation history.
The success of the silicone breasts prosthesis sparked a development in the medical and cosmetic science departments.
Surgeons now worked to improve this new process and smoothen out the procedure because of the many patients in the waiting list.
The whole procedure was successful. The first ever augmentation mammoplasty, also called mammaplasty, was performed using the Cronin-Gerow Implant in 1962. With the dedication of the two American plastic surgeons, breast augmentation has become an easily accessible plastic surgery.
Apart from the silicone-based implants, surgeons also studied other possible materials,
especially considering that some patients might reject the silicone in the body and can lead to serious medical cases.
Because of this, surgeons studied further possibilities of breast implants.
In 1964, the French company Laboratoires Arion created the first breast implant that contains saline solution, instead of silicone. This gave surgeons and patients the option as to what would work for the patient’s body better and would have lesser possible side effects.
After the silicone and saline implants were put into place and were already soaring in popularity, researchers continued to study the improvement of this cosmetic surgery process.
With the motivation to develop products that are more body and user friendly, easily accessible to the public and with less side effects, researchers continue to improve the prostheses that they have.
Eventually, in the 1970s, the second generation of prostheses have been born. This include the technological developments in the whole procedure, the materials used and the implants that are inserted for breast augmentation. Polyurethane foam coating was added to the implants to prevent risks to leaking and make the implant sturdier.
New procedures and implants were also introduced. New ones can now be adjusted even after the surgery. Developments in the materials for the products used were done as well.
With the booming technology advancements in the 1980’s and the continuous hard work of researchers, breast augmentation has become easily accessible to the public. Devices for breast implants, injections, surgery and more of the modern types of breast augmentation has been introduced. This has given the public more options as to what they prefer.
Some prefer the surgical procedure, which is still considered as more durable than injectables. Others who do not prefer surgery just go through silicone injection.
The continuous improvement in the process has made it easy for women and men to grow their breasts to the size that they prefer.
As it is, breast augmentation has been around for more than a century now. With the continuous advancements in technology, there are new things that have been added to the procedure. It is a continuously improving process, making the procedure faster, and the results better and longer. All these new advancements in the cosmetic surgery department and more to look forward to, thanks to the people who started it all from the beginning.