Fifty years have past since the first breast enhancement operation using silicone implants occurred. Looking back at this historical event in plastic surgery, Claire Bowes and Cordelia Hebblethwaite of the BBC News talk to Timmie Jean Lindsey about her experiences as the first ever reciepent of a silicone breast implant. The story of this new plastic surgery procedure was dramatized in the 1997 film, Breast Men, staring David Schwimmer and Chris Cooper. As mentioned in the article, silicone implants were not the first method (or last) for breast enhancements as disscussed in Teresa Riordan’s book Inventing Beauty: A History of the Innovations that have Made Us Beautiful.
It was spring 1962 when Timmie Jean Lindsey, a mother-of-six lay down on the operating table at Jefferson Davis hospital in Houston, Texas.
Over the next two hours, she went from a B to a C cup, in an operation that made history.
“I thought they came out just perfect… They felt soft and just like real breasts,” says Lindsey now aged 80.
“I don’t think I got the full results of them until I went out in public and men on the street would whistle at me.”
Though the operation boosted her self-confidence – and she enjoyed the extra attention – she had never planned to have a breast augmentation.
Lindsey had been to hospital to get a tattoo removed from her breasts, and it was then that doctors asked if she would consider volunteering for this first-of-its-kind operation.
“I was more concerned about getting my ears pinned back… My ears stood out like Dumbo! And they said ‘Oh we’ll do that too.’” So a deal was struck.
The surgeons were two ambitious pioneers, Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin….
If you have not seen the film Breast Men, then check out the trailer below.