“Augmentation Mammaplasty: A New ‘Natural Feel’ Prosthesis.”

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Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow


“Augmentation Mammaplasty: A New ‘Natural Feel’ Prosthesis.”




Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow were two 20th-century American plastic surgeons. In the 1960s they collaborated with the Dow Corning Corporation to create a silicone gel breast implant product. At that time, Dow Corning specialized in silicone products. They worked to create the first breast implant that would not only augment a woman’s breasts but correct for asymmetry, while also correcting for drooping to create a more uplifting profile. Surgeons began using the breast implant widely almost immediately after it reached the U.S. market in 1964, and breast augmentation quickly became one of the more popular cosmetic surgeries in the country.

The creation of a silicone breast implant not only established a new branch of cosmetic surgery but also enabled women with breast cancer to undergo reconstructions to improve their aesthetic appearance after cancer treatment and removal of the cancerous breast tissues. Prior to this, augmentation of the breasts had been performed with a variety of materials, often with poor results and severe health problems. This Cronin-Gerow implant had a silicone shell or envelope filled with the viscous silicone gel. In this work, which was presented at the International Society of Plastic Surgeons meeting in 1963, they discuss their initial findings on the twelve women they studied who had received the implant. There was huge interest in and acceptance of this novel procedure, and demand soon grew. Over the past fifty years, numerous changes and modifications have been made to the silicone gel breast implant, and it still remains popular today.


Excerpta Medica International Congress 66