More Reported Autoimmune Disease Symptoms with Saline Vs. Silicone?

All I see on the internet are thousands of horror stories about autoimmune nightmares after getting breast implants. Is there a difference between the amount of women who report these symptoms who had saline implants vs. silicone implants? I understand that there are years of research saying that implants don't cause illness but I can't ignore the horror stories without asking questions first, especially since I have CFS myself.

Doctor Answers 9

Autoimmune DIsease and Implants

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There was so much "hoopla" over implants during the crisis of the 1990s that I do not blame any woman for being suspiciious over the possibly harmful effects of silicone.

Today, we look back and by "following the money" see that this was a crisis that was engineered mainly by legal and political factors, not medical ones.

If you can't ignore the accounts of women who are sure that their autoimmune problems started after they had implants, then you will likely worry every time you have an ache or pain, and may feel that the implants are causing your symptoms.

Avoid this cosmetic, elective procedure until you come to terms with your feelings on this.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 276 reviews

Saline versus Silicone implants for safety

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Both saline and silicone implants are FDA approved, and this comes with extensive research and studies on the safety of silicone implants. Be careful about what you read on the internet as everything you read may not be true. Talk with your plastic surgeon to see if you feel comfortable with silicone implants. You can always to with saline, but remember that the saline implant shell is made out of silicone.

Silicone or Saline implants and autoimmune disease.

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I would like to confirm Dr. Aldea's comments. Occasionally there are links made that are more correlation than causation. For example if I told you everyone who has a heart attack has ears, it might lead you to believe ears cause heart attacks. Just because women who have autoimmune disease have implants, it doesn't mean it causes them. In studies, similar numbers of women WITHOUT implants had comparable numbers of conditions.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

More reported autoimmune disease symptoms with Saline vs. Silicone?

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Dear MoCab5,

I have been a surgeon for 26 years and as time passes I realize just how much more we yet need to learn and discover, but the case for breast implants and silicone has already BEEN made.

Let me give you this perspective

- No medical device in the history of Medicine was EVER studied and scrutinized more than the breast implant - ACROSS THE GLOBE.

- Our own NIH and other centers spent MORE MILLIONS studying breast implants than were spent studying heart valves, defibrillators, knee and hip joints and practically every other implant and catheter.

- EVERY one of these studies FAILED to demonstrate a causal relationship between breast implants and autoimmune disease, cancer and even chronic fatigue syndrome.

- Silicone which is found in sand and glass is from the SAME chemical family as WE are all made from Carbon. It is largely chemically and immunologically inert.

- Silicone is found in thousands of different products found all around us including as the lubricant in ALL syringes. If Silicone elicited the autoimmune diseases some say it does, don't you think that the MILLIONS of Insulin dependent Diabetics who inject themselves daily with Insulin (and minute doses of silicone) would have a huge rate of autoimmune disease?

- There are many more such points but I am running out of time.

You need to decide WHOM to believe and then follow your inner voice.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD, FACS

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Autoimmune disease and implants

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As you can see from the other answers, there hasn't been any scientific connection between implants and autoimmune disease.  It doesn't matter if it is saline or gel.  Some patients who are concerned should just go with saline in order to put their minds at ease. 

The science of breat implants and autoimmune disease

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The scientific studies have shown no association between breast implants and autoimmune disease. This is the level of our scientific knowledge. Each individual may differ from the statistics but this is what the studies show. The following may sound very cynical but, the other telling fact is that the trial lawyers are no longer sueing for breast implants and autoimmune disease.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Implants and autoimmune disorders

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I think the final word on the autoimmune disorders and implants it out. There have been extensive studies performed over thelast 15 or so years looking at this potential association. The studies have concluded as reported to the FDA, that there is no defintive association between the two. The bottom line is that people get autoimmune disorders and some patients that have implants will get it just like anyone else. The two are not associated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Silicone Phobia

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Dear MoCab

This issue has been studied for years and the scientific evidence has shown no significant increase in rheumatic diseases like Lupus, CFS, and rheumatoid arthritis. There will always be anecdotal stories on the internet so discuss this with your plastic surgeon. If you have a fear of silicone by all means use saline or the saline Ideal Implant. But this is a decision between you and your surgeon.

Steven Schuster MD FACS

Autoimmune Disease Symptoms with Saline Vs. Silicone

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Thank you for your question. There is no correlation between breast implants and autoimmune diseases. Best wishes. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.