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Breast reconstruction

Breast implants have been used at least since 1865 to augment the size of women's breasts. The earliest known implant occurred in Germany in which fat from a benign tumor[?] was removed from a woman's back and implanted in her breast. In following years the medical community experimented with implants of various materials, most commonly paraffin. The first use of silicone as breast-implant material may have been by Japanese prostitutes in the period immediately following World War II.

In the United States, implants from silicone gel were banned by the Food and Drug Administration because of growing concerns about the safety of such implants. More than one million women had availed themselves of the implants at the time of the ban, and the subsequent litigation led manufacturers to agree to a settlement of $4.25 billion. The degree of risk associated with silicone-gel breast implants is still a matter of debate within the scientific community.

See also: breast, Breast implant.

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