The Development of Silicone Breast Implants for Use in Breast Augmentation Surgeries in the United States
In the 1960s, two plastic surgeons from the United States, Thomas Dillon Cronin and Frank Judson Gerow, collaborated with the Dow Corning Corporation, which specialized in silicone products, to create the first silicone breast implant. Surgeons used the implant, named the Cronin-Gerow implant, to improve the look of a woman’s breasts, by correcting for asymmetry, augmenting the size, or creating a more uplifted profile. Surgeons began widely using the breast implant almost immediately after it reached the US market in 1964, and breast augmentation quickly became one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the country. The creation of a silicone breast implant not only established a new branch of cosmetic surgery, but it also enabled women with breast cancer to receive reconstructions to improve their aesthetic appearance after cancer treatment and removal of the cancerous breast tissues.