Breast Implant Facts and Advice Before Surgery

A breast implant is a medical prosthesis used to correct the size and form of a woman’s breasts in post-mastectomy breast reconstruction; for correcting congenital defects and deformities of the chest wall; and most commonly for aesthetic breast augmentation.

There are three general types of breast implant device, defined by the filler material: saline, silicone, and composite.

The saline implant has an elastomer silicone shell filled with sterile saline solution.

The silicone implant has an elastomer silicone shell filled with viscous silicone gel.

The alternative composition implants feature miscellaneous fillers, such as soy oil, or polypropylene string.

In 1961, the American plastic surgeons Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow, and the Dow Corning Corporation, developed the first silicone breast prosthesis filled with silicone gel; in due course, the first augmentation mammoplasty was performed in 1962 using the Cronin-Gerow Implant, prosthesis model 1963. In 1964, the French company Laboratoires Arion developed and manufactured the saline breast implant, filled with saline solution, and then introduced it for use as a medical device in 1964.