Timeline: A short history of breast implants

Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:15am EST
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(Reuters) - Following is a look at the history of breast implants. Jean-Claude Mas, whose company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) sparked a global health scare by using substandard silicone, was arrested Thursday.

Breast implants are pockets of liquid that are placed inside a breast to increase its size or adjust its appearance. There are two main kinds, containing either saline (salt water) or silicone, a squishy gel.

1895 - Austrian-German surgeon Vincenz Czerny, known as 'the father of plastic surgery', performs breast reconstruction on a woman at the University of Heidelberg.

1945 - After World War Two in Japan, prostitutes catering to the tastes of the U.S. military, begin injecting industrial silicone directly into their breasts. They previously tried goats' milk and paraffin.

1962 - Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow invent the silicone breast implant. Texan Timmie Jean Lindsey becomes the first woman to have the procedure.

1976 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates silicone breast implants, subjecting them to controls and performance standards.

1982 - The FDA places breast implants in the more rigorous class III category, because of "reports of adverse events in the medical literature."

1991 - Jean-Claude Mas establishes Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) based in southern France, near Toulon.

December 1991 - Mariann Hopkins wins $7.3 million from Dow Corning for health issues linked to her ruptured implants. More than 130 lawsuits have so far been filed against Dow Corning.   Continued...