Silicone Breast Implants – Are they Used Today?
Research for this article has been quite interesting and very informing. Of course I collected the sources and research to enable and assemble an informative piece for all of you (our valued BR readers)…but ended up getting quite an education for myself…and quite frankly, I’m now even more baffled!
In the early 90’s I underwent breast augmentation and was told I had to get saline implants because silicone had been banned and deemed to be dangerous to health. I had no problem with that because I cared more about what I looked like in clothes than in the buff. There was a rumor (or more likely fact) that silicone implants looked much more natural than those of saline. But I was just happy going from a 32A to a 34C so that wearing a typical t-shirt didn’t make me look like a 13 year old boy.
What I found out however, is that there ended up being no scientific studies that supported the silicone controversy. Studies ranging from 1991 all the way through 2008 from the US, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Spain and the European Nation all concluded that there was no evidence that silicone breast implants caused connective tissue disease or any other auto-immune responses with the latter of the studies stating this: “The consensus statement of the Transatlantic Innovations conference (April 2009) indicated that additional medical studies demonstrated no association between silicone gel-filled breast implants and carcinoma, or any metabolic, immune, or allergic disorder.”
Additionally silicone gel implants that are used today are made of a much thicker viscosity which prevents leakage if the integrity of the shell were to be weakened or accidentally popped from trauma or other instances. Therefore it would be extremely rare to attribute ill effects to the implant itself. Saline on the other hand, has always been considered safe because if the shell of the saline implant were to be damaged or developed a hole…it would indeed leak out…but saline is safe for the body to absorb. Saline is what is used in an IV bag (for instance) and as long as it’s sterile at the outset there should theoretically be no reason to suffer ill effects from the implants except for, of course, having to undergo surgery for correction of the broken implant.
It seems to me that as long as the patient is well informed and chooses a highly trained, board certified plastic surgeon who uses silicone-gel implants (and follows rigid mandates and laws and respects the strictest of FDA guidelines) then the proper candidate should be perfectly safe if they choose a very high-grade and legal silicone-gel-based implant for their breast augmentation and/or other breast surgeries.
So as baffling and confusing as this report has been in terms of researching and writing it (as well as reading it)…it gets even stranger for me. Why? Because I have saline implants and I was recently tested as ANA positive with a high titer of a certain antibody suggestive of connective tissue disease! I’m sure it has nothing to do with my breast implants, but it certainly threw me a curve ball in terms of getting a grasp on all this. However, having said that… I’ve always been thrilled with my decision, my results and that they have certainly lasted much longer than they are expected to last!