Are breast implants safe?

There has been quite a bit of media attention surrounding the safety of silicone implants. They have been linked to breast cancer and autoimmune diseases. These diseases include arthritis, skin conditions, hair loss, changes in saliva and eye fluid, muscle and joint pains.

These conditions have been reported by women who have also had silicone breast implants. They have assumed that the implants have leaked and that the leaked gel is responsible for these illnesses.

There has been a great deal of research undertaken into this issue and what has been found is that there is no proven link between silicone gel and autoimmune diseases.

Another complication is capsular contraction. This happens when the body forms a protective layer or capsule around the implant. It is the body’s natural response to what it perceives to be a foreign body. This happens every time an implant is inserted and is usually trouble free. The capsule is, in effect, scar tissue which seals the implant from the tissue surrounding it.

However, this scar tissue can thicken and increase over time. If it thickens to the point where it is compressing the implant and so distorting its shape then it will need to be treated.

If that happens to you then your implant will feel hard and will take on the appearance of a ‘ball’. Surgery is required to break open the scar tissue to release the tension. The capsule is removed and the implant will have to be replaced.

The cohesive silicone implant does not leak but the non-cohesive type of implant can leak and will do into the surrounding tissue. This has also been seen in women who have chosen to go abroad for cosmetic surgery. If you have the non-cohesive implant and it leaks, then you will notice that the firmness of your breast is affected. If this happens then further surgery is required.

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