Silicone gel implants! Are they really safe?

Can someone please give me a real opinion of the silicone gel implants? I have read all these horror stories of how they are making women sick and how they are the same ingredients as they were in the 1980's. My surgery is scheduled in 2 days and this all is making me want to back out.

Doctor Answers 4

Silicone gel implants! Are they really safe?

Thank you for your question.  Silicone implants are some of the most thoroughly tested medical devices and are safe and FDA approved.  If you still have anxiety about having silicone implants in your body, you can always opt for saline implants.  There's even a newer generation saline implant called the Ideal Implant that feels more natural.  Best of luck.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Silicone gel implants! Are they really safe?

You should never put something in your body that is going to cause you ongoing anxiety. Switch to saline. But yes, decades of research has failed to connect silicone implants with disease. If you wear lipstick we can measure the amount of silicone in your blood. Every time you get a needle into your skin you are receiving silicone from the needle coating. We can go on and on with this. Women without implants get the same diseases in the same proportions as women with implants.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Silicone gel implants! Are they really safe?

In all of the studies performed to date on silicone implants (and there have been many), there is no link between silicone implants and any medical disease meaning that these diseases occur at the same frequency in women with implants as they do in women without implants. This is true for the older silicone implants as well as newer silicone implants which contain a semi-solid gel material and not a liquid like the older ones. Older silicone implants were associated with a higher rate of capsular contracture, but they did not make women have systemic illnesses. Unfortunately, there is no truth filter on the internet and anything can be written and posted. All of the studies that investigated these claims found that the implants were not the cause of their illnesses.The newer silicone implants have a much thicker shell and a much lower leak rate than the old ones. They will not last forever and most doctors recommend replacing them every 15-20 years.  

Silicone gel implants! Are they really safe?

Breast implants are among the most tested of medical devices. No other medical device has been studied to the extent that breast implants have. Extensive studies of tens of thousands of women with breast implants have shown that both saline and silicone implants are safe. They do not produce a higher rate of breast cancer or autoimmune disease. After vigorous evaluation by the FDA, both are approved for cosmetic and reconstructive usage.

The majority of patients having breast augmentations are very pleased with their results. No one should enter into that procedure with the idea that the implants will last forever or that they may never need another breast surgery. There are a variety of reasons why a woman would have a secondary procedure: to alter the size of the implants as the patient ages and the size and shape of the breast naturally change, to correct the effects of pregnancy on the breasts, weight fluctuation, the implant can form a capsular contraction around it which produces a hardening, or the implant may leak. No one can guarantee the life cycle of an implant.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California  

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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.