Breast augmentation surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in the U.S., and its popularity is not slowing down anytime soon. Even at our Portland, OR practice, breast augmentation generally is at the top of our patients’ improvement lists. Breast surgery techniques change often, and improved drastically since the first breast reconstruction attempt in 1895. Read on to learn about the evolution of breast augmentations.


Around 1945, Japanese prostitutes tried to enlarge their own breasts by self-injecting industrial silicone after noticing American military men preferred larger breasts. In the 1950s, American surgeons wrongly used synthetic injections on tens of thousands of women, resulting in their breasts hardening, and some having to undergo mastectomies.


In 1961, Dr. Thomas Cronin and Dr. Frank Gerow invented the silicone breast implant. In 1964, doctors began to use saline implants for the first time.


In 1987, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) placed a 20-year moratorium on performing fat-grafting procedures, making implants the only option. After reports of adverse reactions in 1988, the FDA put silicone breast implants in a more rigorously tested category. Shortly after, in 1992, the FDA introduced a moratorium on silicone implants until they could confirm their safety.


After a short time on the market, polypropylene breast implants were banned by the FDA in 2001. In 2006, the FDA cleared silicone, gel-filled breast implants for use in women 22 and older, due to dozens of studies being done and disproving a link between silicone implants and autoimmune illnesses. Silicone implants quickly rose in popularity, and plastic surgeons often favored the results of silicone over saline.


In 2014, Dr. Norman Rowe introduced the 24-hour instabreast procedure, allowing for breasts to look larger for up for 24 hours. The breasts are injected with a saline solution, which adds volume for about 24 hours, and then absorbs into the body. Today, fat grafting is known as both a low-risk procedure, and an excellent alternative to breast implants.

If you are located near Vancouver, WA, and are interested in more information about breast augmentation, contact Dr. Bohley today!