It should seem no surprise that the first modern silicone breast implant operation occurred in Texas. Although the Japanese and even the Texan pioneers of these newer implants tried simple injections of various substances including silicone gel beforehand, they found inflammation and pain made these ill-advised.
The way Timmie Jean Lindsay was convinced into being the first patient for silicone breast implants is kinda amusing:
Earning £19 a week from her job at an electronics factory, she qualified for free treatment at a charity clinic, the Jefferson Davis Hospital, where a friendly young plastic surgeon, Canadian-born Frank Gerow, offered to remove the roses (a tattoo) with dermabrasion – a procedure in which the upper layers of the skin are removed.
A plastic surgery professor at Houston’s esteemed Baylor University medical school, Gerow worked at the clinic pro bono, using it as a training facility for his students and, as Timmie Jean soon would learn, a recruiting ground.
When she returned for a check-up in the autumn of 1961, male medical students joined him as he explained he had been working with a colleague, Dr Thomas Cronin, to develop an implant for women who had sagging breasts following multiple childbirths. He suggested Timmie Jean should be the test case, the first woman in the world to undergo this delicate procedure.
She had surgery in spring of 1962. She has had problems with capsular contracture, but has reportedly not had additional surgery to improve these symptoms.
John Di Saia MD