Summary: The media has not been shy about spreading myths regarding breast implants and the harm they allegedly pose. There is a long history of controversy over the possible adverse health effects of silicone breast implants, which led the FDA to remove silicone implants proactively from the market in 1992 for further testing.

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Yet, most of what’s been reported is blown far out of proportion or entirely false. The FDA found zero evidence that silicone implants were harmful, lifted its ban back in 2006, and since then millions of women worldwide have chosen silicone breast implants without any ill effects. Additionally, the Institute of Medicine conducted a 14 year study of 3,182 women with breast implants, which surprisingly revealed fewer cases of cancer (31) than would statistically be expected (43) in a group that size.

Science Has Spoken

It’s understandable for women to be focused on how breast implants may affect their health, and it’s important to address these concerns by focusing on the facts. Silicone breast implants are actually one of the most intensely studied devices in the entire medical marketplace.

More than 100 laboratory and research studies over the past several decades have shown no correlation between breast implants and illness. Put simply, statistics indicate that breast implants don’t cause cancer, autoimmune disorders such as lupus, connective tissue disease or other medical issues. In fact, silicone is one of most widely used materials in all medical devices, and can be found in shunts, syringes, IVs, catheters, pacemakers and artificial joints. Even saline implants are covered by a silicone shell. Exhaustive research concludes that breast implants pose no adverse health risks.

As with any medical device, breast implants aren’t intended to last a lifetime and may need to be removed or replaced. Some women pro-actively schedule a replacement surgery when they want to switch out their implants for a different size or undergo breast lift surgery. Other women may experience an implant rupture, although this is statistically rare.

In the Event of Rupture

Rupture of saline implants can be easily detected, as the fluid leaks out of the implants and the breast appears deflated. The rate of saline implant ruptures has decreased significantly compared to earlier models. Today’s saline implants have a low rate of deflation, with one study finding only a five to 10 percent frequency after 10 years.

If a silicone implant leaks or ruptures, it may not always be noticeable visually or through a physical medical examination. This type of silent rupture doesn’t change the way an implant looks or feels because the rupture occurs within the capsule. The FDA recommends that those with silicone implants periodically (every two to three years) get an MRI to double check. It’s best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who can help you to determine the best method for maintaining your breast implants.

Why Board Certified Surgeons Are Best

In addition to being concerned about their health, women may wonder how breast augmentation could impact breastfeeding or pregnancy, and should be comforted to know that implants should not in any way hurt a developing fetus, interfere with pregnancy or impair breastfeeding. For optimal breastfeeding results the periareolar incision should be avoided.

When considering any plastic surgery, it’s important to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. They have the training and expertise to address your concerns, reduce the likelihood of complications and offer you the best possible results.