- Question from MJ: I am concerned about the confusion and safety of silicone and saline implants. Some say it is an ongoing problem years down the road. I want to know if there is research to support how safe the implants are over time. Thanks.
This is a very complex topic. There has never been any definitive evidence that has concluded that silicone implants are harmful to individuals. Obviously, there may be some outlying cases, but as a whole they have remained safe. Thus, contrary to popular belief, they have always been on the market and have never been off for very specialized cases-breast reconstruction being one of them.
Currently, the implant companies and the FDA are in investigational phases. It is my feeling that because of the emotional nature of breast implants in general, the proceedings are happening at a very slow rate, and the FDA is being extremely cautious. But if you have breast cancer, the silicone implants are available to you. You have to be enrolled in a study, and in my experience, in a very large practice of a tremendous amount of silicone implant patients, I do not have any hesitation putting them in. All that being said, however, implants as a whole-be they saline or silicone-have a life expectancy to them. In other words, they're not forever. One has to understand that when embarking on an implant, albeit cosmetic or reconstructive, that it is an investment in time, energy, and, most probably, more procedures in the future should the implants fail.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Reconstruction and Safe, Sexy Cosmetics featured Carolyn C. Chang, M.D., Anna-Dee Rinehart, S.C.S., and moderator Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. answering your questions about reconstructive surgery and safe, sexy cosmetics.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2005.
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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