Are Breast Implants Safe?

Breast augmentation is perhaps one of the more well-studied medical implantable devices placed into humans. Recent scientific research has revealed an extremely rare correlation between textured, or silicone breast implants and breast cancer, which have led to a subset of textured breast implants being eliminated from the marketplace because of a potential increase in breast cancer.

It is unknown exactly how breast implants that contain silicone gel or the same substance used in paint and rubber products are likely to react with the body. A significant number of women have chosen to augment their breasts through surgical means, even when their surgeon has not indicated the possibility that there might be a possibility of a possible link between their new implants and the development of cancer. The recent announcement by the United States FDA has only served to further increase women’s anxieties about the risks associated with breast augmentation.

While some of the reported health concerns connected with the use of silicone gel in the breast augmentation surgery include breast pain and tenderness, breast irritation and infection, skin discoloration, skin rashes, and breast cysts. The most common type of breast implant material being used for breast augmentation surgeries is silicone gel. However, silicone gel is not a known allergen and is commonly used in cosmetics, as well as other medical devices. Many breast augmentation patients choose to undergo breast augmentation surgeries because they are unhappy with the size and shape of their natural breasts.

When a woman has a mammogram performed during her mammogram prior to having breast implant surgery she will be advised by her doctor to stop using certain cosmetic products that could potentially trigger a reaction with her breast implant. The most common culprit that is used to avoid a reaction with a silicone gel implant is to avoid using perfumed soaps, nail polish, makeup, hairspray, hair sprays, and dyes. All of these items can trigger the release of a substance called lecithin.

Lecithin is a substance that can become toxic when it comes in contact with silicone gel and it can cause inflammation and an allergic reaction in the patient. This may not be harmful to the patient, but many people have found that they do experience an allergic reaction after having a surgical procedure and it is not always related to the actual surgery itself. Women undergoing breast augmentation surgeries should avoid wearing tight tight-fitting clothing, tight-fitting bras, wearing swimsuits with undergarments, and using synthetic fibrous products.

Implants should be considered with the proper amount of care. A healthy body makes it difficult to get sick from a surgery, but it is possible to get sick from a surgery.

Reza Nabavian MD
2001 Santa Monica Blvd #1180
Santa Monica, CA 90404