Breast augmentation has a storied and experimental history that includes paraffin injections, tissue transplants, glass balls, sponges, ivory and ox cartilage. But breast implants as we know them came into being 50 years ago.
In 1961, two Texas plastic surgeons developed breast implants comprised of a silicone-filled, teardrop-shaped rubber sac. Just a year later, Texan housewife Timmie Jean Lindsey became the first woman to have breast augmentation surgery with silicone breast implants, a procedure more than 2 million women have undergone since.
As the popularity of breast implants grew, technological and medical advances led to softer, more natural implants. Various safety issues and health concerns plagued breast implants in the ensuing decades, problems largely related to the use of silicone and the rupturing or leaking of breast implants containing silicone.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the reintroduction of silicone gel implants in 2006. Today, women have the option of choosing between saline and silicone breast implants; while each has its own merits, both types are more durable, more comfortable, safer and longer-lasting than earlier models.
Breast augmentation remains among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, and advancements in technology, medicine and surgical procedures have helped millions of diverse women achieve the look they desire. And it all started 50 years ago in a state known for doing things bigger.