If you have been thinking about breast implants in Austin, you may have heard about the faulty, French implants made by a company called Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP). The implants were made of industrial-grade silicone, which is not suitable for medical purposes and may pose a serious health threat to women. An estimated 400,000 women received the defective implants, which were sold in 65 countries – not including the U.S.
Although this news is alarming, women who received breast implants in the U.S. have little to worry about since PIP implants were not distributed here. The only exception is American women who had their implant surgery in a foreign country. Regardless, the PIP scandal has many women wondering about the safety of breast implants in general.
As a plastic surgeon, I can confidently say that the likelihood of this happening in the United States is very low. The testing and research that is required for medical devices such as breast implants is extremely stringent, and implants such as those produced by PIP likely would have been flagged long before they ever reached the public.
Silicone implants sold in the U.S. are made of a medical-grade cohesive gel that is not believed to be harmful. Silicone and saline implants available in this country have been thoroughly tested and have received FDA approval.
The PIP scandal reminds us to take our health seriously. Before undergoing any procedure, consider the benefits and risks. Choose a qualified surgeon who is experienced, trustworthy and well trained.