The picture of 3 implants includes: top — an old McGhan double lumen (silicone gel implant surrounded by a saline implant); bottom left ’ Dow Corning textured silicone implant; and bottom right ’ Dow Corning smooth silicone implant. Dow Corning has not made breast implants since approximately 1992
As seen in the picture, the Cronin implant also included Dacron(reg) patches, which were eventually phased out
The first breast implants were developed in 1962 by two Texas plastic surgeons Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow with Dow Corning. These were smooth tear dropped shaped silicone implants filled with a cohesive silicone gel. They had a Dacron patch on the back to fix the orientation. This was necessary because they were smooth and could spin, thus losing the desired orientation.
Throughout the 1980′s and 1990′s, class-action lawsuit claimed that Dow Corning’s silicone breast implants caused systemic health problems. The claims first centered around breast cancer, and then migrated to a range of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and various neurological problems. This led to numerous lawsuits beginning in 1984 and culminating in a 1998 multi-billion dollar class action settlement. As a result, Dow Corning was in bankruptcy protection for nine years, ending in June 2004.
A number of large, independent reviews of the scientific literature, including the U.S. Institute of Medicine, have subsequently found that silicone breast implants do not appear to cause breast cancers or any identifiable systemic disease. (The jury is out on this finding)
The Dow Corning case raised serious questions about the safety of silicone breast implants and about larger issues of medical device testing and patient education.
Safety of Silicone Breast Implants presents a well-documented, thoughtful exploration of the safety of these devices, drawing conclusions from the available research base and suggesting further questions to be answered. This book also examines the sensitive issues surrounding women’s decisions about implants.