everyday living Breast Augmentation Throughout History July 10, 2012 Written By: BreastImplants.org Published On July 10, 2012 Although a crude form of cosmetic surgery has been around for centuries, it was not perfected until after World War I, following the popularized use of plastics, anesthesia and modern surgery. Similarly, breast implants and their founding science have also evolved throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, despite the fact that their roots began much earlier. Late 1800s To Mid 1900s 1889 marked the first period of serious investigation and invention, when physicians injected a wax substance called paraffin into the breast. However, the injections failed, instead causing the original breast tissue to die. After physicians learned the detrimental effects of the paraffin, they experimented with various other substances, including the patients’ own fat, ox cartilage, glass balls, sponges, rubber and—in the middle of the twentieth century—Teflon. Please Read This: Breast Augmentation After Weight Loss Surgery 1940s During World War II, Japanese prostitutes who believed that American soldiers preferred women with larger breasts used paraffin, sponges and silicone as makeshift breast implants. Frontline cites this as one of the first uses of silicone. You Might Like This: Ways To Reduce Sag Naturally 1950s and 1960s Unlicensed practitioners continued to experiment with different substances, returning to paraffin and petroleum jelly as injectable solids, as well as samples of silicone jelly mixed with vegetable oil, beeswax and epoxy. All of these treatments caused significant damage and even death. By this time, Dow Corning had developed a medical grade silicone that some physicians were using, and complications suffered began to decrease significantly. 1962 After Dr. Thomas Cronin and surgical resident Thomas Biggs created a prototype of a silicone breast implant and placed it in a dog, Timmie Jean Lensey received the first silicone breast implants in the United States. These implants were not injections, but rather silicone-filled implants. Injections lost favor after this period. 1965-1976 The FDA allowed Dow Corning’s silicone to be used as an experimental medical device in the United States. They did not, however, condone the silicone's use in the breast, yet many physicians were still injecting with silicone. Complications of direct silicone injections included: cysts, breast disfigurement, respiratory illnesses and liver dysfunction. 1976 Nevada outlawed breast injections. Congress passed the Medical Device Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Breast implants were considered medical devices and were classified into Class II of the Act, meaning they were not tested before they were marketed. 1988 The FDA reclassified breast implants as Class III medical devices. As Class III devices, breast implants now had to undergo rigorous testing before they could be marketed. 1991 The FDA permitted silicone breast implants to remain on the market, following testing and public hearings. 1992 The FDA recommended that silicone breast implants be taken off the market. Later that year, the FDA recommended that silicone implants only be used for women who were undergoing reconstructive surgery or having implants replaced. 2000 The FDA approved the use of two types of saline-filled breast implants. 2003 The FDA again approved the use of silicone breast implants but required a minimum age for each patient. 2010 In 2010, nearly 320,000 American women and 10,000 British women had breast implants performed, as reported by The Guardian. 2012 French company Poly Implant Prosthesis (PIP) was accused of making silicone breast implants with non-medical grade silicone. Women in France and Great Britain were encouraged to have their breast implants removed. 2012 Sientra Inc., an American implant manufacturer, received approval for its silicone breast implants, but was required to continue post-surgery studies to investigate their safety. Regulatory commissions are still investigating the safety of the device. For a more thorough history of regulation in the United States, visit the FDA’s history of implant regulation. Recommended Articles faq Am I Covered By Insurance? everyday living How Big Is Too Big? everyday living Why Home Breast Exams Matter risks Mondor's Cord everyday living Wisconsin Well Woman Program Gets Cut Most Searched Questions What size is right for me? How much does breast augmentation cost? What should I ask my plastic surgeon? How do I find a plastic surgeon? Tags: everyday living history augmentation through the ages silicone saline Comments Learn More: Nipple Piercings Before And After Breast Augmentation Surgery Exercises And Massage After Breast Augmentation Post Surgery: Pros And Cons Of Taking Antibiotics For Dental Work Best Apparel For Breast Implants Tattoos Do's And Don'ts How Big Is Too Big?