Breast Implants Not Permanent
Approximately 300,000 women have breast implants each year. A recently updated report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives women food for thought if they have or are considering breast implants. The report warns that “the longer a woman has breast implants, the more likely she is to experience local complications or adverse outcomes. Women with breast implants will need to monitor their breasts for local complications for the rest of their lives.”
Included in the “frequent complications and adverse outcomes experienced by breast implant patients” is a condition known as capsular contracture. This is where the body’s immune system attacks a foreign substance (the implant). Capsular contracture can be very painful and can potentially distort the aesthetics of the breast implant and the breast itself. While the cause is uncertain, suspects include contamination, rupture of the implant, and silicone leakage. The best way to monitor the implants for unrecognized or “silent” rupture is with MRI scanning. This should be done periodically.
Reoperation and potential removal is also a likely occurrence as 20% – 40% of implant patients experience reoperation in the first 8-10 years that they have them. Reoperation is usually required to remove, replace or reposition the implant.
“Women with breast implants may have a very small but increased likelihood of being diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL)” says the report. ALCL is a non-Hodgkin form of blood cancer.
The FDA warns “the longer the devices remain implanted, the more likely you are to experience a complication.”