Are implants bad for your health?

Sometimes they can lead to excessive scarring and wrinkles. Some studies have found associations between breast implants and certain health conditions.

Are implants bad for your health?

Sometimes they can lead to excessive scarring and wrinkles. Some studies have found associations between breast implants and certain health conditions. Disturbingly, several studies have found an increased risk of alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide in women with breast implants. Leaking silicone gel is not thought to cause health problems, such as breast cancer, reproductive problems, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Even so, a ruptured silicone breast implant could cause breast pain, thickening of the breasts, or changes in the contour or shape of the breast. Silicone contains carcinogens and toxins that can wreak havoc on the body. For example, it can cause connective tissue diseases, inflammation and symptoms of breast implant disease. Women have reported a variety of symptoms, including sinus problems, allergies, and dizziness, caused by a silicone implant leak.

There may also be unknown health problems associated with breast implants. Women with implants have reported several autoimmune diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers have suggested that toxins in silicone gel could trigger the development of autoimmune diseases in women with predispositions. Short-term studies concluded that implants do not cause autoimmune diseases, however, there is a need for long-term studies that include a larger and more diverse population of women because autoimmune diseases can take years to develop.

The plastic surgeon may choose to remove the implant alone and leave the scar tissue surrounding the implant in the body, also called the scar capsule. If a saline breast implant ruptures, the implant will deflate and cause the affected breast to change size and shape. FDA scientists did not consider that manufacturers provided enough scientific evidence to prove that the implants were safe, but implant manufacturers refused to conduct long-term studies. Although there are currently no established methods for accurately detecting silicone levels in breast milk, a study that measured silicon levels (a component in silicone) did not indicate higher levels in breast milk in women with silicone-gel-filled implants compared to women without implants.

If an implant ruptures, the focus may vary depending on whether the implant is saline or silicone. If a silicone breast implant ruptures, you may not notice it right away or ever because any free silicone tends to remain trapped in the fibrous tissue (capsule) that forms around the implant. These women have formed various groups and organizations on social media, most notably Healing Breast Implant Illness and The Implant Truth Survivors. All breast implants will eventually rupture, but it is not known how many years the breast implants that are currently on the market will last.

Here's what can happen to you with breast implants extracted from What You Need to Know About Breast Implants published by the National Research Center for Women and Families. In general, when silicone gel-filled implants rupture, the silicone gel leaks through a tear or hole in the implant shell, but remains confined within the scar tissue capsule around the implant, which is called an intracapsular rupture. The saline implant consists of a silicone shell filled with a sterile saline solution during surgery, while the silicone implant uses a silicone shell pre-filled with viscous silicone gel. If a silicone-gel-filled breast implant ruptures, you or your doctor aren't likely to notice it right away because most silicone implant ruptures don't have symptoms, they're silent ruptures.

In some cases, removal of breast implants without replacement is reported to reverse the symptoms of breast implant disease. Now, some 50 years after breast implants were first introduced worldwide, an unfollowed number of women complain of a recognizable pattern of health problems, which they attribute to their implants. Up to 20 percent of women who have breast implants need to have their implants removed within eight to 10 years. In general, patients with confirmed BIA-ALCL should undergo implant removal and removal of the surrounding scar capsule, which is a more extensive operation than removal of the implant alone.

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