Owners of breast implants rejoice! 2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of the first silicone implant procedure. Whether you have had breast augmentation or plan to look for a plastic surgeon, this is a landmark in plastic surgery history.
First performed in 1962 using a “Cronin-Gerow” implant, named after the Dow-Corning surgeons responsible for the invention, breast implants have since made great technological progress.
In the 1970s, the second generation of implants was developed and the implant gained a polyurethane shell that helped reduce the incidence of infection, and included a more realistic filler material.
In the 1980s, the implant received upgrades that paralleled progress in manufacturing technology. Tapered shapes and textured surfaces began common.
In 1992, the FDA forced a mass recall of silicone breast implants and rescinded their approval of the product.
In 1995, Soybean Oil implants were introduced and marketed as a natural approach to breast augmentation. In 1999, developers realized this was a terrible idea and recalled the product from the market. Though never approved in the United States, several people, including actress Tara Reid, received the implants and faced health threats when the filler aged and became toxic.
Since the 90s, a new, fifth generation of implants was developed that include a leak-preventing gel-filler found in implants used today, making breast implants safer and more natural-looking than ever.
In 2006, the FDA re-approved the silicone implant, deciding that the product was again safe.