After mastectomy surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from the breast, some women may choose to have their breasts rebuilt through breast reconstructive surgery using saline or silicone implants or tissues from other parts of their body.
Are Breast Implants Safe?
If a woman chooses saline or silicone implants following breast cancer surgery, it is important to understand the risks associated with having these types of devices inserted into the body.
According to a recent report released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), silicone gel-filled breast implants are relatively safe and effective when used for breast reconstruction following breast cancer removal surgery or for cosmetic breast augmentation purposes.
Can Breast Implants Rupture?
One major issue to be aware of with breast implants is ruptures, or the leaking of the contents of the implant into the body. Many symptoms of a ruptured implant are “silent” meaning a woman may not be aware that the implant ruptured because she does not experience any signs or symptoms.
What are the Signs or Symptoms of Implant Rupture?
While many women have no signs or symptoms of a ruptured breast implant, some women may experience:
- Pain, burning or tingling at the affected breast
- Numbness or swelling at the affect breast
- Lumps or “hard knots”
- Change in the size of the breast
- Distortion of the shape of the breast
- Hardening or even softening of the breast
How Do I Know if My Implant Ruptured?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that women with silicone breast implants undergo periodic MRIs in order to detect “silent” ruptures. It is recommended that women receive an MRI after three years of receiving the implant and then every two years after that.
Do Breast Implants Last Forever?
Silicone breast implants do not last a lifetime. One in five women who receive this type of implant for breast augmentation will need them removed within 10 years. For women who receive these implants for breast reconstruction purposes, one in two will need them remove after 10 years.
Breast Implants and Cancer