A wide range of breast implant materials were used to enlarge women’s breasts including beeswax, glass balls, ground rubber, polyurethane, cartilage, ivory and glass balls.
Sponges used for breast implants showed the most promise but were short lived as these types of implants lost volume and became rock hard only 1 year after surgery.
Timmie Jean Lindsey became the first woman to receive silicone implants in 1962. Saline implants were invented shortly after in 1964.
The FDA issued a moratorium on silicone breast implants due to rising health concerns spurred on by media and unfounded claims. Many manufacturers voluntarily stopped producing silicone implants until further testing was completed. In the meantime, saline implants were used.
The FDA approves silicone gel-filled breast implants for the first time since 1992 after numerous studies found no correlation to health problems and deemed them “safe and effective.”