History of Breast Implants and Why Women Buy Them

In our generation today people are attracted to products that could make them beautiful or handsome; products that would make them very attractive. Some may even go under cosmetic surgery to make themselves appear more attractive. Some may refer a person who is obsessed to look good as a “vain” person. One of the things that ladies want to improve in themselves is their breasts because it’s believed that having big breasts will make one more attractive thus making them feel confident and sexy. That is why some women undergo surgery – the breast implants. Others call it as breast augmentation or breast enlargement.

This paper will discuss everything about breast implants. The history of breast implants, the indications for breast implants, the procedure, kinds or types of breast implants. This paper will also answer the question about how a person is influenced to undergo breast implants as well as discuss the evolution of breast implants.

History of Breast Implant
Breast Implant is done as a prosthesis that is used to enlarge the breast size of a woman for cosmetic reasons; to reconstruct the breast, (for example, – after a mastectomy; or to correct genetic deformities), or as an aspect of male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. This is also known as breasts augmentation, breast enlargement, mammoplasty enlargement, augmentation mammoplasty or the slang term “boob job”. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. (National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics, 2007) This procedure is very popular in the United States than any other country.

In the year 1890 the first surgical breast augmentation procedure was performed with paraffin injection. This surgery led to infections and lump formations in the breast. In the year 1920, paraffin injections were no longer used because it became out of favor for the procedure. Implants have been used since 1895 to enhance the size or shape of women’s breasts. The earliest known implant was attempted by Vincenz Czerny (Trutnov, 19 November 1842 – Heidelberg, 3 October 1916, an Austrian-German surgeon). He used a woman’s own adipose tissue (from a lipoma, a benign growth, on her back). In the year 1920, fat transplants were tried. Fatty tissues were removed from the belly and buttock areas and transferred it into the breast. Unfortunately, this was not successful because the body would rapidly reabsorb most of the fat leaving the breast lumpy and lopsided. This type of procedure was given up in the year 1940. Polyvinyl sponges were then used. These were to be implanted into the breast for augmentation, and different types of synthetic sponges were tried in 1950’s. This type of surgery or implantation did not succeed as well, because they were all found to shrink and harden within a year and infections occurred.

It was in the year 1960 when silicone injections started. This procedure was not effective; complications such as chronic inflammation, infections, and lumps were seen. Because of this silicone injections were no longer an option. In 1961, silicone breast implants were developed. Due to safety concerns, silicone breast implants were withdrawn in 1982. After 10 years, 1992, the American general market for cosmetic breast augmentation only allowed saline filled implants. Silicone breast implants are only available to special patients through FDA approved trials. (Wu, 2006) In 1995, they introduced soybean oil implants, they say this is a natural approach for the breast enhancement, but not after 4 years, they were withdrawn from the market because it was found out that it could become toxic in the body as it breaks down.

As the years passes by, new technologies continue to arise. New discoveries have been found on breast implants and breast enhancements which give women some choices in order to achieve their desires. One of the new discoveries is the bra-like device that is surrounded with silicone; this was introduced sometime in the year 2001. This device should be worn 10 hours a day for a few months to see the effect, but there no satisfied patients who used the device. In November of 2006, the FDA in the United States approves silicone implants once again. This time a new implant, called the gummy bear style silicone breast implant was developed and will be available again to all the women in the United States who would like to have a breast augmentation. Breast implants have much to offer those who would like to have their breasts improved. There will be more evolution on ways to enhance breasts of women who want this procedure all over the world.

Types of Breast Implants
Breast implants are done in one to two hours surgically. Types of breast implants include: (1) Saline Implants. Arion HG (1965) who introduced Saline-filled breast implants and was first manufactured in France. The Saline implant is made of an elastomer silicone envelope; this will be surgically implanted under the tissues, and then filled with sterile saline, a salt-water solution, through a valve. (breastimplant.com, 1996) (2) Silicone gel implants. These implants are also made of an elastomer envelope that is pre-filled (prior to surgery). This implant is filled with a clear, sticky, thick jellylike form of silicone that approximates the consistency of breast tissue. Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow, they are the two plastic surgeons from Houston, Texas, who developed the first silicone breast prosthesis with the Dow Corning Corporation in 1961. (Arion, 1965)

Ways on how Breast Implants are Preformed

According to Robert Valdes (How stuff works), breast augmentation can be very simple or complex procedure, it will depend on the patient and the desired outcome the patient wants.

After the surgeons prepared their patient, the surgeon starts by cutting one incision into the patient for each implant. To avoid scarring, the incisions should be made small. After the incision is made, the surgeon must slit a way through the tissue to the final destination of the implant. Once there is path that has been created, the tissue and/or muscle (depending on placement) must be disjoined to establish a pocket for the implant. Then the surgeon will have now to place the implants that the surgeon will use. The surgeon will now reposition the nipple, adjust the cleavage, and create a new crease under the breast. This procedure needs the expertise of the surgeon. (Valdez, 1998)

Motivational Factors in Undergoing Breast Implants
According to the Journal of Women’s Health (Volume 12, Number 3, 2003, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.), there are at least five factors that influence the decision to seek breast reconstruction. (1) Intrapsychic – Intrapsychic factors describe internal motivations for breast augmentation and the resulting effect of surgery on body image and quality of life (Feelings about physical appearance and breast size and shape in particular). (2) Interpersonal – this concerns the importance of breast in social and romantic relationships, according to the journal; it may play an important role in the decision to seek surgery. (3) Informational – these factors address knowledge about the surgery. It is thought that women who undergo breast implants obtain information from mass media (Television, women’s magazine, radio advertisements, and physicians). Because of Television and women’s magazines, this may have a big impact on those women who seek to have breast implants, this is because of what they see in famous stars that had breast implants (especially in Hollywood), women thought that if they have it too, they would look more attractive, and will improve their relationship. (4) Medical – includes the patient’s current health and health practices. Breast implants are also suggested to women who have undergone mastectomy, for this reason, patients may feel more confident and improve their self-esteem. (5) Economic – women who decided to have breast augmentation also have to consider their savings before the procedure. Breast augmentation costs approximately $3000 to $5000. Because this procedure is not covered by health insurance, they have to use their personal savings, or they may make loans for the procedure.

Breast Implant is a procedure where one must really think about, aside from the expensive cost of this procedure, one might have a side effect of having breast implants. If we will look back at the history of it, it is evident that they have not yet perfected the procedure with minimal side effects.(that is why some of the earlier breast implants have been banned) This procedure will also hinder young mothers to give breast feeding to their child, which is very important for the baby.

Breast implants are being availed by young women because of the impact of having a good appeal to the public especially to their boyfriends or husbands. And some studies say that it has significance in positive sexual functioning with a greater sexual drive and arousal. This kind of procedure is a personal decision that should be respected by anyone.