Breast Implant Illness.

I am nervous about sicknesses implants can cause. I have read about people getting implants removed due to unbearable sickness and attacks on their immune system. My surgery is scheduled for next month and I am thinking about canceling bevause of this. I know everyone is different, but I have many people telling me breast augmentation is an unsafe surgery that will cause me problems down the line. How many women really do experience difficulties and sickness due to their implants? Is its "safe"?

Doctor Answers 5

Safety in silicone breast implants

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Breast implants are a medical device. As such, they have been extensively studied by the FDA. Since the original claim in 1992 that breast implants could cause autoimmune disease a lot of research has been done at many major teaching institutions. I participated in research protocols at the Mayo clinic, the Emory clinic, and in private practice for over ten years. There is no known link between silicone implants and the risk for autoimmune diseases. Breast implants can still have problems related to leaking, and the development of capsular contracture over time. Do your research and be comfortable with the physician who will perform your surgery

Breast Implant Safety and "Breast Implant Disease"

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No medical device in the history of this country has been studied more extensively than breast implants. Consider life saving implants like heart valves, pacemakers, defibrillators or cardiac stents - none were studied more than breast implants. Consider hip and knee implants - none were studied more extensively than breast implants. There are NO safety issues with breast  which are not seen with other implants. The FDA regards them as safe to sell and use in the US. This however does not satisfy some sources and it is understandable. Breast implants can have various complications such as infections, scarring and eventual rupture and sagging which women must agree to and accept. They do not cause autoimmune diseases and in the vast number of women are not associated with cancer. Follow your conscience. If your inner voice says - yes I understand all that but.....then do not have the surgery. Because you are operating on belief not on facts and beliefs can be as important. Do whatever is right for you as long as you understand it is NOT a safety issue nor a scientifically based decision, it is what is right for you. 
Dr. Peter A AldeaMemphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Safety of silicone breast implants.

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I can best answer by saying that if anyone in my family had interest in receiving cohesive silicone gel breast implants I would feel very comfortable that they posed minuscule (if any) health risk.  My preference is for smooth round silicone implants and I inform my patients that no implant is expected to last lifelong, and that they have risks such as palpability with thinned breast tissue, displacement, capsule contracture, rippling, etc....  I would discourage you from allowing "friends" from talking you out of receiving them because of unsubstantiated risk allegations made in the early 90s and never verified or substantiated.If on the other hand you're generally uncertain whether you really want to have augmentation surgery, then delay your procedure until you are certain with your decision.  That's the best advice.  Good luck and regards, Jon A Perlman MD FACS  Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery  Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016  Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Breast Implants and Illness

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Breast implants, both saline and silicone, have been one of the most extensively studied devices over the years. In the early 90's, women were concerned that their implants were the cause of several types of autoimmune and systemic diseases. Retrospective and prospective studies have shown no link with any of these diseases and silicone or saline implants. To the best of our scientific knowledge, silicone implants will not make you develop any autoimmune disease. There is a very rare form of lymphoma that has been associated with patients who have textured surface silicone implants. Physicians are not sure of a true cause and effect and there have only been slightly more than 100 cases reported internationally out of millions of women who have implants. Smooth surfaced implants to date have not been associated with this rare condition.I don't know where you are hearing that breast augmentation is an unsafe surgery. Each year, over 300,000 women undergo breast augmentation in the United States. While implants do need periodic replacement and other issues like breast sagging can develop over time (just like it can in women without implants), the procedure itself is very safe with very few complications.

Breast Implant Illness.

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Thank you for your excellent question and for doing your research.  After a moratorium on the use of silicone implants in cosmetic procedures in the 1990’s, the FDA lifted the ban on silicone implants in 2006, stating they were “safe and effective.” To date there have never been any confirmed links between silicone implants and an increased risk of health problems such as autoimmune diseases.  Implants are not permanent devices, and oftentimes they require additional surgery in the future - switching out to larger implants, or the possibility of a breast lift being needed.  Be sure to find a board certified plastic surgeon who can help you through the process of breast augmentation surgery, and who can allay some of your fears.  Hope this helps.

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.