Ask the Surgeon: Are Silicone Breast Implants Safe?
Huge advancements in breast implant technology have made today’s silicone breast implants both more natural in look and feel, as well as extremely safe. Dr. Ali has used performed breast implant surgery using silicone implants with safe and natural results on thousands of women in Oakland County and across the metro Detroit area.
In this article Detroit area board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali discusses the history and the safety of silicone breast implant surgery.
FDA Approval of Breast Implants
Both saline and silicone breast implants are FDA approved, meaning that the US Food and Drug Administration considers them safe for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. FDA-approved implants undergo extensive testing before approval to demonstrate reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.
The FDA has approved implants for increasing breast size, reconstruction after breast cancer surgery, and to correct or improve developmental defects or the result of a previous surgery. Additionally, research on the safety and effectiveness of both types of breast implants is always ongoing, as well, ensuring that improvements in breast implant technology are continually being made.
History of Silicone Breast Implant Surgery
Silicone implants were first used by breast surgeons in 1964 with new and imperfect technology. So, back then, some patients experienced complications. As a result, in 1992 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) temporarily recommended that silicone implants be removed from use.
However, in 1999, the National Academy Institute of Medicine issued a report stating that diseases such as connective tissue disorders, cancer, neurological diseases, reproductive problems, or other systemic complaints or conditions “are no more common in women with breast implants than in women without implants.”
These studies also showed that there was no evidence of long-term autoimmune problems in women who underwent augmentation with silicone breast implants.
And, other exhaustive studies have shown that silicone breast implants actually have complication rates that are the same as, or in some cases lower than, saline implants.
So, in 2006 the FDA cleared silicone breast implants cosmetic use in women aged 22 and older. By 2010 breast implants were the most popular plastic surgery in the United States – with 62% of implants being silicone.
Do Breast Implants Cause Cancer?
Studies by the National Cancer Institute have also proven that there is no relationship between breast implants and breast cancer.
In the United States, approximately 1 out of 9 women (11%) will develop breast cancer. This percentage is the same for women with and without breast implants.
Today’s Silicone Breast Implant Surgery is Safe
Statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery state that roughly 1 in every 26 women in the US has breast implants – meaning that 4% of US women have improved their appearance with breast implants. In fact, about 300,000 women in the United States alone undergo breast implant surgery every year!
Doctor Ali, uses Mentor MemoryShape Gel Breast Implants – known for their natural look, realistic feel and their unparalleled safety record. Mentor Worldwide LLC, the developer of these implants and part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices companies, recently announced the publication of a 10-year clinical study involving 955 breast augmentation patients in the U.S.
That 2018 study highlighted the safety of MENTOR MemoryShape Gel Breast Implants, reporting:
- High patient and surgeon satisfaction rates
- Low capsular contracture, rupture and complications rates
- No reported cases of breast implant-associated cancer
Complications of Silicone Breast Implant Surgery
As with any surgery, there is always a small risk of complication. Infection is a risk with any surgery that can be greatly reduced with proper surgical procedures and meticulous aftercare.
Local complications and adverse reactions can also include capsular contracture, reoperation, removal, and implant rupture. However, these risks are very rare when the silicone breast implant surgery is performed by a skilled board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Ali.
What Happens When a Breast Implant Breaks (Ruptures)?
Because of today’s improved materials from which breast implants are made, a rupture (break) in the breast implant is a very rare occurrence. However, even when a breast implant “pops” the situation is not immediately dangerous at all. What happens when a breast implant ruptures will depend upon whether the breast implant is saline or silicone.
If a saline breast implant ruptures, the “salt water” that it is filled with will simply leak out – and the implant will rapidly deflate. The body will then absorb the leaked saline solution. Since salt is a natural substance found in the body there are no health risks. However, the woman will need surgery to remove the deflated silicone shell, and replace it with a new implant so that her breasts are the same size.
It is harder to tell if a silicone breast implant ruptures. Patients you might not notice a silicone leak right away — or ever — because it is thick and leaks very slowly. The small amount of free silicone then generally tends to remain trapped in the fibrous tissue (capsule) around the implant.
Despite some “myths” to the contrary, leaking silicone gel does NOT cause disease or illness. Leaking silicone does NOT cause breast cancer, reproductive problems or arthritis. However, if you become aware of a leaking silicone breast implant Dr. Ali will recommend that you have it removed and replaced. This is because, over time, a ruptured silicone breast implant may cause breast pain, breast thickening, or changes in the shape or size of the breast.
Detroit Area’s Top Breast Implant Surgeon
Dr. Ali is a Detroit area double board certified Birmingham breast implant surgeon who has performed breast augmentation surgery on thousands of women in the metro Detroit area, including Birmingham, Troy, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield, and across Oakland County. He utilizes the latest techniques and best, state-of-the-art breast implant technologies and procedures – to ensure that your results are as safe as they are beautiful. Doctor Ali will be happy to offer you a consultation to answer all of your questions at his Birmingham office.
Feel beautiful inside and out, with breast implant surgery. And remember, financing options are also available.