History About Breast Implants

The first modern day breast implants were created by two plastic surgeons in Houston TX.

Tom Cronin and Frank Gerow are credited with implanting the first silicone breast implants in a 36 year old female in 1962.

The shell of the first implants was quite thick so new implants were produced with softer feeling outer shells. Unfortunately, this thinner walled outer silicone shell was prone to leak and/or rupture over time. The free liquid silicone outside the shell stimulated the natural immune system of the person to react in an effort to protect the tissue from the “foreign” substance (much like our body reacts to a deep splinter or piece of glass). This was a normal reaction of the body to any foreign material and was not an allergy or “rejection” of the implants. However, this attempt to separate or “wall off” the leaked gel resulted in many women forming severe contractures (thick scar tissue envelopes) around the implants. As the scar tissue thickens, it can become tight and uncomfortable. In addition, the scar tissue can squeeze the implant causing it to appear more round and feel hard or displaced on the chest wall.

Many implants had to be removed and research for a better solution continued through the 1980’s. Breast implants with thicker shells and more viscous silicone gel inside were made. Shaped implants (tear-drop) with textured shells were developed and to try to produce a more natural less round breast shape. Even other materials for the shell were created. For example, Polyurethane-coated silicone implants became popular due to their reduction in capsular contractures. The use of these implants was stopped by the FDA in 1991 due to fears that a breakdown product of the shell could cause cancer evn though there was no spike in the development of breast cancer in patients who had this implant.

Without scientific evidence,in the early 1990’s the FDA placed a ban on all silicone gel implants largely due to political pressure from certain interest groups that believed silicone implants were causing connective tissue diseases. Silicone breast implants were only allowed to be used in breast reconstruction, lifts, and secondary breast augmentation surgery as long as the patients agreed to be enrolled in an FDA-directed clinical study.

This study continued for over 10 years, making the silicone implant “the most studied device in the history of the FDA”.
Several studies confirmed there was no direct causal relationship / link to connective tissue diseases. The FDA study demonstrated a low incidence of contractures /ruptures with these cohesive silicone gel implants and removed the restrictions on usage in 2006.

Finally, the “new”cohesive gel implants were available to essentially all patients (over 22) who wanted them. In the meantime, breast augmentation continued with Saline implants through the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Saline implants are still available but silicone implants quickly became more popular in practically every country in the world.

Continual Pursuit of Excellence

At the Gillian Institute for Plastic Surgery, we don’t believe one approach works for every patient. We partner with our patients in making the right choices to achieve their goals. This means education comes first – ours and theirs. We have to stay current in new approaches and make sure our patients know all their options.

The increase in variety of implant sizes and profiles as well as the ability to use fat grafting as an additional option has been a huge advantage for patients. However, plastic surgeons have to keep up with these advances in techniques and products and learn to use new options in style and profile appropriately. In Dr. Short’s opinion, patients do not deserve a “one size fits all approach”.

Dr. Short strongly feels like it is a plastic surgeon’s responsibility to establish expertise and provide multiple options for patients. This means that it is important to keep up to date on new concepts and advances in this field to provide all the best and safest options for patients.

If Dr. Short is not confident enough in the technology or approach to provide it for her own family, then she will not offer this to her patients. In fact, the first person on which she performed fat grafting of the breast was a family member. If it is not safe enough and “good enough” for her own family, then it is not good enough for her patients.

Experience Matters

Dr. Short established her practice in Indianapolis in 1996. Over the years, she has served on panels at plastic surgery meetings, published clinical studies on breast surgery, and presented her work at National and International Plastic Surgery conferences. She is devoted to the progress of breast surgery and providing the very best for her patients. Dr. Short enjoys teaching and is dedicated to fully educating our staff as well as our patients regarding the procedures, options, risks, benefits, and post-operative care.

She has performed breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction on thousands of patients, including her friends, family, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals. We feel that many of our patients in the medical field choose our office because Dr. Short and our staff treat our patients like they would treat their own family. If Dr. Short does not believe that she would have the procedure herself or recommend it for her mother, father, sisters, brother, or children, then she won’t recommend that procedure for you. All of the products and non-surgical procedures and many of the surgical procedures we offer our patients have been tested or performed for our staff and their family members.

Certifications & Commitment

Dr. Short is Board Certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons (ABPS), a member of the American Board of Medical Specialities (ABMS) and she is also a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the Aesthetic Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS), and the International College of Surgeons (ICS).

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