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First Ever Breast Implant Recipient, Half-a-Century Ago
Breast implant surgery during 2010 was the second most popular cosmetic procedure in the whole world, just a tad behind liposuction. There were an estimated 1,600,000 procedures done in the United States alone, averaging a net worth per session of $3,600 according to the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. But during 1962, exactly 50 years ago, there was no one yet with silicone implants anywhere, except for Timmie Jean Lindsey.
Timmie was just 30 years old back then, and she had originally went for a tattoo removal surgery to remove a tattoo of roses found near her breasts. That was when she was asked by doctors Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin, pioneers of early breast enlargement surgery, if she wanted to be the test subject for the first ever procedure in the world. With the desire to increase her cup size from B to C, and the fact that the test procedure would be free, had influenced her greatly to accept the offer of Dr. Gerow and Dr. Cronin.
Timmie was part of a family of six, with her father being an oil refinery worker. She was just 14 years old when her mother died. A few years later, Timmie decided to quit school and elope with her then-carpenter boyfriend. Years of abuse lead her to leave him, taking with her the three boys and three girls she had during their marriage. It was after this that she met Fred Reyes, who was the man who persuaded her to get the rose tattoos near her breast area. It was these tattoos that led to the revolutionary surgery that changed Timmie’s life forever. Since the time she had gotten the surgery was relatively conservative, Timmie had decided not to share the procedure with her family and even with her closest friends. It was only decades after when she decided to divulge her not-so-little secret with the rest of the world.
Unlike what she was expecting, Timmie began experiencing some sagging with her new-and-improved breasts. According to her, they did not remain upright permanently, and eventually give way to gravity over the coming years. The surprising thing that happened is that she would sometimes experience intense pain all over her body. She would have a parched mouth, long-standing fatigue, and dry eyes. Even though people who are against the surgery proposed that she was suffering from a case of silicone damage, Dr. Gerow insisted that silicone implants do not cause any sickness, and along with other physicians, concluded that what Timmie was feeling at that moment were all related to depression, namely sourced from psychosomatic reasons.
Even though in 1962, plastic surgery was not yet very much regulated, it took a lot of courage for Timmie Jean Lindsay to actually say “yes” to being a guinea pig for the experimental surgery. Now, thanks to the courage exemplified by Timmie, so many women all over the world now reap the scientific and technological advancement brought about by the pioneering efforts of doctors Gerow and Cronin. Now already at 80 and with slightly sagging breasts, Timmie reflects on the time that she decided to endure a plastic surgery procedure; even though there were some unproven physical pains that she experienced after the surgery, she never once regretted the fact that she had undertaken the breast enlargement surgery.
She is still quite proud to be the first woman ever to receive the ground-breaking surgical procedure.
NOTE : This article is originally published by cosmeticsurgerynews.
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