- Question from Chris: What is your feeling about silicone implants? Are they safe? If the unaffected breast is augmented for symmetry, does that make it difficult to obtain an accurate mammogram? I am finding it very difficult to make a decision re: reconstruction.
As far as the safety of silicone gel implants, obviously that's been a real controversial issue for the past 10 or 11 years. During that time, there has been a lot of research and investigation regarding the safety of silicone. All of the major centers have essentially concluded that there are no adverse health effects related to silicone implants. Recently, the Physician's Advisory Board convened before the FDA and voted 9 to 6 to recommend that silicone implants again be brought back into the open market.
As far as augmenting the opposite breast for symmetry and whether or not that will affect mammography, I don't believe that it will, as long as the mammographer is aware there's an implant in place. There are well-defined techniques that will allow them to visualize the breast tissue using those mammographic techniques. MRI scanning is great for really looking at the breast tissue as well as the integrity of the implant.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Breast Reconstruction featured Maurice Nahabedian, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about different techniques in breast reconstruction, the pros and cons of implants and body tissue transfers, when you might want to reconstruct, and many more issues related to rebuilding your breast/s after breast cancer surgery.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in November 2003.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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