Breast Implants and Cancer

silicone breast implants.

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. This particular type of breast implant was approved by the FDA in November 2008 under the condition that the companies that manufacture the implant conduct several studies to evaluate the long-term safety of these medical devices.

Like any medication or medical procedure, women who receive silicone gel-filled breast implants should be aware of the risks prior to undergoing surgery to receive this type of implant. The recent FDA report points out several things that all women should know about these implants.

One fact is that 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.

Another fact is that the most frequent complications of silicone breast implants include hardening of the area around the implant, need for implant removal, which requires additional surgery, rupture of the implant, wrinkling, scarring, pain and infection.

The report also points out that preliminary data shows that this type of breast implant does not cause breast cancer, reproductive issues or connective tissue disease. However, more studies need to be conducted to totally rule these potential complications out.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Press Release. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm260235.htm

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