Silicone Breast Implants

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In 1992, after 30 years of manufacture and surgery, the FDA banned silicone breast implants for most women. Why? Not because the surgery itself was risky, but because of the tens of thousands of cases of complications and health issues experienced by women after receiving implants.

The complications most of us heard about dealt with the implant itself rupturing, and the silicone leaking into the patient's body. But even implants that didn't rupture caused what is now referred to as Silicone Implant Disease, a condition with a variety of serious autoimmune symptoms including cognitive dysfunction, short-term memory loss, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome (dryness in glands, such as the mouth, kidneys, eyes, and lungs), scleroderma, dermatomyositis, severe joint and muscle pain, incapacitating fatigue, swollen lymph glands, skin problems, peripheral numbness, multiple allergies, headaches, hair loss, sunlight sensitivity, central nervous system disorders (similar to multiple sclerosis).

Although silicone is a known toxic substance, the FDA recently ended its moratorium against the devices and approved silicone implants manufactured by Allergan Corp. and Mentor Corp. after a ten year study, and on the condition that the companies will conduct ten-year follow-up studies on the devices.

Silicone Implants - Still a cause for concern?

In its approval letter the FDA reiterates that silicone breast implants are not permanent devices. Women who receive them will have to have multiple surgeries throughout their lifetimes and should undergo routine MRI's to make sure that the implants have not ruptured. Because most insurance companies do not cover breast implants, they may not cover implant maintenance either.

Given the widely published evidence about Silicone Implant Disease and against silicone breast implants, we cannot recommend silicone breast implants, especially given the multitude of safe non-surgical alternatives to breast implants such as herbal breast enhancement pills, creams and pumps. But if you still want to immediate effects of breast implants, try saline implants, which, if they rupture or leak, will only leak saline into the body.