The first modern-day breast augmentation was performed in the 1960s. Since then,, the procedure has become one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries nationwide. The first breast implants were made of silicone, as are many modern implants used today.
But silicone implants haven’t always been available. They were taken off of the market in the US for a few years due to safety concerns, starting in the early 1990s. In 2006, after years of research and study, the FDA once again approved silicone implants for use in breast augmentation. But, more recently, people have begun to express additional concerns about the safety of these implants.
If you’re considering a breast augmentation or you already have implants, here’s what you need to know about the ongoing safety debate over silicone implants.
What Types of Breast Implants Are Available?
Many different shapes and sizes of breast implants are available and two different types of material can be used to fill the implants. When silicone implants were taken off of the market, the only option women had for breast augmentation were saline implants.
Saline implants are filled with a saltwater solution. The shell of the implant, however, is made from silicone. Usually, saline implants create a rounder-looking breast and are firmer to the touch. A benefit of saline implants is that the surgeon can fill them after placing them in the chest, meaning that the surgeon can make a smaller incision and have more control over the final size of the implants.
Silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel and also have a shell made from silicone. Although silicone implants come in pre-determined sizes, meaning there’s less choice when it comes to final size, many surgeons and patients prefer them because they look and feel more like natural breast tissue compared to saline implants.
What Are the New Concerns About Breast Implants?
Silicone implants were taken off of the market in the 1990s because of concerns that they were causing autoimmune disorders. Women who had silicone implants sometimes experienced certain symptoms and subsequently had their implants removed. Many of those women stated that they experienced an improvement in their symptoms after the implants were taken out.
After 14 years of research and study, the FDA determined in 2006 that there was no evidence of a connection between silicone implants and autoimmune disease.
Now, some women’s groups and women who have had silicone implants are stating that they still believe there is a connection between their implants and symptoms, particularly inflammatory reactions in the body.
As a result of the most recent statements, the FDA warned two makers of breast implants that they did not perform adequate enough studies on the effects of implants on women’s health. Those studies are a requirement for approval. The FDA also decided to look more closely at silicone implants and are in the process of deciding what to do next.
What Can You Do if You’re Concerned About Your Breast Implants?
Currently, there is no concrete evidence or any scientific studies demonstrating that silicone breast implants are connected to autoimmune disorders or inflammation in the body. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a right to be concerned about the safety of your implants. After all, it is your body and you want to care for it as best as you can.
If you are concerned about your implants, the best thing to do is to discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon. If you’re having symptoms you believe are related to your implants, talk about them with your surgeon. They can help to put your mind at ease and provide you with options. Depending on your situation, you might need to remove your implants and replace them with a new pair. Or, you might decide that taking your implants out entirely is the best option.
If you haven’t yet had breast augmentation and are finding the most recent stories about breast implants to be a cause for concern, you should still talk to a plastic surgeon. They can help to walk you through all the risks and benefits so you can make an informed decision. It’s also worth noting that you might be a better candidate for saline implants if you’re particularly concerned about the safety of silicone implants.
When it comes to breast augmentation, it’s important to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon, preferably someone who specializes in breast surgery. Dr. Paul Vitenas has nearly three decades of experience performing breast augmentation and other breast surgeries. He can help you decide on the right surgery and choose the implants that are the right fit for you. To learn more, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.