50th Anniversary of First Ever Breast Augmentation

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The 50th anniversary of the first ever breast augmentation surgery with modern implants occurred in 2012. Despite originally seeking care for the removal of a tattoo, this first patient, Timmie Jean Lindsey, reports that she is happy and healthy, according to an article in The Guardian.

When Lindsey’s doctor first asked her if she would be interested in breast implants, she thought only of the basic and ineffective methods available at the time. As her doctor explained that this was a new, highly improved procedure, she grew more interested. When she heard that there would be no charge, she accepted, with one condition: that the surgeons also perform an otoplasty to adjust the angle of her ears.

Breast Implants Now America’s Most Popular Cosmetic Surgery

These first ever modern breast implants were conceived by Drs. Thomas Cronin and Thomas Biggs. The idea originated from the experience of carrying a blood donation after they switched from glass jars to plastic bags. It was noted that this new method of storage had a very similar nature to the female breast. A surgical research team began exploring different options, and settled on a configuration very similar to that used today.

Lindsey describes the situation in this way, “they asked me if I wanted implants, and I said: ‘Well, I don’t really know.’ The only thing I’d ever thought about changing was my ears. I told them I’d rather have my ears fixed than to have new breasts, and they said, well, they’d fix that too. So I said, OK.”

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the breast augmentation procedure is now the most popular cosmetic surgery in the country, with more than 300,000 surgeries performed in 2010, beating out rhinoplasty, tummy tucks and liposuction. It is estimated that between 5-10 million women currently have breast implants throughout the world.

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