Brief History of Breast Augmentation

The desire to increase the size of one’s breasts is not a new concept though the popularity of breast augmentation has sky-rocketed in recent years. But as far back as the late 19th century, women were seeking larger, perkier breasts, and paraffin was one of the first materials used to enhance women’s breasts. However, paraffin (commonly used in candle making) caused infections and lumps to form in the patient’s breast tissue. Finally, in 1920, using paraffin to augment breast was abandoned, and doctors then began enlarging breasts by using fat from other parts of the body. Unfortunately, however, the fat was reabsorbed into the body and left the breasts asymmetrical. Using fat transfers was also abandoned—around the 1940’s.

In the 1950’s, another method was attempted: polyvinyl sponges were inserted into the breasts, but this was not successful either as the sponges hardened and shrunk, causing infections. The sponges had been linked to cancer in some women.

In 1961, two plastic surgeons created the first silicone breast implant, and then a few years later, the saline implant was developed in France. Since then, improvements have been made in both saline and silicone implants, but in the early 1990’s people began to question the safety and efficacy of silicone implants. In 2006, however, the FDA gave silicone breast implants its full support, and now they’re a very popular choice for cosmetic surgeons all over the world.

If you have been considering breast augmentation and live in the Phoenix area, please contact Arizona cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Paul Angelchik, today to schedule a confidential consultation.

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