After over a decade of study, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of silicone gel implants for the majority of breast surgery patients in November 2006. But that was nowhere near the final word on silicone gel implant safety.
Many women who received older versions of silicone implants in the 1980s continue to claim that they are living with health problems following implant rupture and silicone leakage. While numerous studies have not been able to show a definitive link between silicone and autoimmune disorders, today’s implant manufacturers produce a silicone gel implant with a greatly enhanced safety profile. In fact, some people believe this latest generation of silicone gel implants is as safe as saline implants, but that stance is the subject of hot debate.
The discussion about silicone and safety continues in the media, on the Internet, and with my Illinois breast augmentation patients when they come to my office for a consultation. As a responsible plastic surgeon, I recognize that breast augmentation is not right for all women and silicone gel implants aren’t right for all women who do decide on breast enlargement. My focus is on equipping women with the tools to make a decision that”s best for them.
The key to any woman”s successful breast augmentation is making an informed choice about implant options. I take the time to answer questions from my breast augmentation patients from Naperville, Joliet and beyond who want to know all they can about both saline and silicone gel implants. I also encourage them to do their own research, paying attention to both hard data and personal experiences of women who have already had this procedure.
Here are a few reliable sources of information on the Web about silicone gel implants. If you’ve come across others, I encourage you to post a comment about those as well.
- A Status Report on Breast Implant Safety: Contains a brief history of silicone breast implants, along with known and possible risks associated with these medical devices.
- Mentor Corporation: This physician-oriented page from a manufacturer of silicone gel implants contains some discussion of the myth of implant “bleed.”
- BreastImplantSafety.org: In particular, I like the Implant Options section of this site, which contains some helpful background information on silicone implants.
- Breast Enlargement in Naperville, Illinois: This page from my Web site discusses many aspects of breast augmentation, including risks and complications for both silicone gel and saline implants.
- Safety of Silicone Breast Implants: A report from the Institute of Medicine”s Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, this is perhaps one of the most thorough presentations on silicone breast implant safety, though the discussion of modern silicone gel implants falls a bit short.