The First Breast Implant: 120 years ago

By Brian Arslanian, MD

The Boob Job! It’s a term that is in our lives almost daily. Whether its on TV, radio, the internet, or the 5 million women walking around with breast implants today…..breast augmentation has become a household topic. But it wasn’t always that way.

In 1961, Houston Plastic Surgeons, Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow developed the first silicone breast implant with the help of the Dow Corning Company. The following year, Timmie Jean Lindsey became the first woman to undergo silcone implant breast augmenation. At 82 years old her implants are still in place and doing well.

However, as interesting as that whole story is ( I mean they made a movie about it starring David Schwimmer, check it out on Netlfix here), what I really wanted to talk about was the FIRST EVER BREAST AUGMENATION!

In 1895, Vincent Czerny performed the very first breast augmentation on a 41 year old singer who had a painful lump in her breast and was encouraged to have it removed. He noticed that she also happend to have a large Lipoma in her lower back. A lipoma is a benign growth of fat cells that forms a mass or a tumor anywhere in the body. They are quite common and do not cause cancer or any harm other than the mere fact that they can become uncomfortable and unsighlty.

So Dr. C proposed removing the breast mass and replacing the lost tissue with the Lipoma from her back. He performed the surgery successfully and kept her in the hospital 23 days (which was pretty standard in those days). At her follow up over a year later her breast was painless, a little firmer and smaller than the opposite one, but otherwise doing well.

So just a little historical prospective for everyone. We have come a long way in terms of rebuilding breasts. In fact, there is a big push to go BACK to using fat now instead of, or in combination with implants. This is something I am a big proponent of and am very interested in.

Check out the entire article with his original transcript here

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