Breast Implant Facts
Let’s talk about breast implant safety. The FDA held hearings 2 weeks ago to discuss issues related to silicone implants. Patients and physicians alike gave testimony. Here’s what we know:
- Breast implants are not meant to be lifelong devices. I always say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, it is imperative that those with implants remain vigilant with getting regular mammograms, and to see a Plastic surgeon if any changes are noted, such as new onset swelling or pain. The truth is, if you have implants, at some point you should expect that they will need to be exchanged or removed.
- BIA-ALCL is a cancer of the immune system associated with textured breast implants (and other implants, ie. buttock). There are a little over 500 cases known worldwide, 17 of which were fatal, out of the 5-10 million breast implants placed. The cancer is often readily cured with implant and capsule removal.
- Breast implant illness is an ill-defined set of symptoms that many women attribute to their breast implants. There is currently no test to diagnose this phenomenon, and there has been insufficient evidence to date to prove that breast implants cause rheumatologic or other disorders. That being said, some women do report resolution of their symptoms once their implants are removed. (Unfortunately, some do not.). A national database has been created to track implants to better characterize patient symptoms and complications.
- If you have textured implants, neither the FDA nor any national plastic surgery societies are advocating for preemptive removal right now. Patients should continue to undergo the recommended screening, and to see their doctor if any changes are noted. Screening recs have in fact changed: those with silicone implants should get an ultrasound or MRI 5 years after the implants were placed, and then reimage every 3 years thereafter.
- Future implant patients should always consult with a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon so that all the current evidence, risks, and benefits are fully discussed in order to make an informed decision in whether implants are right for you.
Our board certified plastic surgeons at Cold Spring Plastic Surgery in Long Island and Manhattan have the most up to date information on breast implant safety and how to choose the right implant for you. Please call us at 631-470-9650 to schedule your free consultation so we may tailor a plan to fit your needs.
Posted in: Breasts