Are my 2005 Mentor saline implants causing High levels of Toxins in my body: Xylene, Toluene, Styrene, Phthalic acid & Paraben?

I've been very sick for seven years. Diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease - I suffer with chronic pain & fatigue. No medications work. I have been extremely disciplined with trying to detox my body for two years. I cannot figure out where these high toxins in my body are coming from.....I'm thinking about getting my implants removed. I hate to have surgery when I'm already feeling so sick - I wish I knew for sure it's my implants. I've had my implants for 9 years & have been sick for 7. I went to my surgeon a year ago who convinced me that my implants are not the cause of my health. Thank you for responding & helping if you can. 

Doctor Answers 6


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wow. would have to look up some of those chemicals if I thought they were pertinent. if it will put your mind at rest have the implants out.  30 min under local anesthesia. maybe you will get better, maybe not.. either way you have eliminated one variable. hope you feel better 

Newark Plastic Surgeon

Toxic implants

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There are unique situations that arise with patients. While today's data does not support your implants the cause of your problems, only you can make the ultimate decision. I have had a few patients over the years that decided to remove their implants for fear that the conditions they had were caused by the implants. In some cases they felt better, in others theyhad the same symptoms.  I have had one case were the patient had a sever allergy to nickel, the had her implants placed in Mexico. She had a total body rash and was sick. There are trace amounts of Nickel in implants. I want to stress very very minute amounts. She had been seen by many doctors, given many diagnosises including rheumatoid arthritis. I recommended to remove the implants. The patient in 3 days was feeling better. The rash was subsiding. By 6 weeks she was back to normal with no problems. 

Ben J. Childers, MD, FACS
Riverside Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Are Saline or Silicone Implants Toxic?

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Are Silicone or Saline Implants Toxic?

I think you have to answer this question in two ways:

  1. First, to address the perceived silicone toxicity by the public/patients which has not been substantiated by scientific studies and would be rare if it occurred at all.
  2. Secondly you have to address if they have ever been proven to be toxic.
The first question is easy to answer: there is no known toxicity from silicone gel of saline breast implants  (as the shell is made of silicone). This topic has been studied by the FDA for more than three decades to establish its safety. Silicone is the most common material used in medical devices/implants. Examples include shunts that go from the brain to the abdomen (for hydrocephalus) which are left in for a lifetime, artificial finger joints, syringes, IVs, catheters (including ones that go next to the heart), surrounding pacemakers, and even oral anti-gas tablets.
The one possible exception may by the PIP implant made in France (generally not available in the USA). Most of the concerns about the PIP implant were about the use of non-medical silicone and manufacturing problems, and do not relate to implants used in the United States by board-certified plastic surgeons. This is not to say that breast implants, like any implant, can have problems; they may have to be removed and are not meant to last a life time. Common reasons for replacement include: capsular contracture, rupture, infection, change in breast size, and pain—but not for toxicity.
To answer the perceived toxicity of Silicone by the general public—this is quite a different matter.
Breast implants have been around since the 1960s. About 15 years ago Connie Chung ran an exposé, Face to Face with Connie Chung, claiming silicone implants were responsible for different health problems. This led to lawsuits, a huge windfall for lawyers, and the subsequent ban on silicone implants for first-time breast augmentation patients went into effect. They were always available for breast reconstruction (e.g. after mastectomy) and replacement of existing silicone breasts. Also, please note that saline implants are still covered by a silicone envelope.
Soon after, a ban on silicone implant use became worldwide. This lasted for years until more than 100 clinical studies showed that breast implants aren’t related to cancer, lupus, scleroderma, other connective tissue diseases, or the host of other problems they were accused of causing.
June 1999, The Institute of Medicine released a 400-page report prepared by an independent committee of 13 scientists. They concluded that although silicone breast implants may be responsible for localized problems such as hardening or scarring of breast tissue, implants do not cause any major diseases such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
The Institute of Medicine is part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization.
Eventually, a federal judge dismissed/rejected the lawsuits, declaring them junk science and ended for the most part the barrage of lawsuits. This led to the present reintroduction of silicone implants years ago and their approval by the FDA. Interestingly enough, most of the rest of the world reintroduced them many years prior to the United States.

I happened to be in private practice in Orange County, Californiaduring this time of confusion by the public and media. My office was deluged with patients, mostly new ones having had surgery elsewhere, believing they were being poisoned by their breast implants. Most of my consults lasted about an hour and were spent trying to convince patients that they did not need surgery. In fact, I told them that they would not even have to pay for the consultation if they decided to not have surgery. Most of the patients had no problems but were simply gripped with general panic, mass hysteria, and fear from all the media hype and false information. Despite my strong advice to not remove their implants, many insisted upon that action. As a footnote, the vast majority of these patients that I removed implants eventually returned to my office for silicone gel replacement.

Are Saline Implants Responsible for Autoimmune Disease

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Beginning in the early 1990s, breast implants were studied in excruciating detail. By 2006, the silicone gel implants were re-released onto the market, and since then, they have taken off.

The many studies done showed no connection between breast implants and autoimmune diseases. During the implant controversy, patients often felt better with their implants out, but because that was a placebo effect, it had no long term impact.

Heather J. Furnas, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Implant removal

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If you feel strongly that your saline implants are the cause of your health issues than for your peace of mind, if not for your health, you can have them removed.  Removing saline implants is straightforward and can be done in the office under local anesthesia.  Once removed, if your symptoms do not improve you can look at other sources of your symptoms.  Breast augmentation in the future can be performed with implant or fat transfer if by then you have determined that implants were not the cause of your symptoms.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast implants do not release toxins.

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I'm not sure where you get your information but your implants are not leaking these organic compounds. Nevertheless if you're paranoid it's easy to have them removed.

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.