Breast implants are medical devices that typically consist of a silicone elastomer shell filled with saline or silicone gel. The first silicone breast implants are developed by two plastic surgeons from Texas: Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin.
The implants are textured silicone bags and can be filled with saline, which is salt water, or silicone gel and they are smooth or textured silicone bags that can be round (dome shaped) or breast shaped (anatomic). Shaped breast implants are designed to reflect the slope of the breast.
The breast implants are usually quite successful at making the breasts larger and fuller. And just about 80% of breast implants are for cosmetic reasons. If your doctor tells you that breast implants are proven safe, ask for a copy of any report that studied women with implants for at least 10 years. There is strong evidence that both saline and silicone breast implants can cause local complications including swelling and gel leakage. One study says silicone breast implants do not cause systemic illness. Like silicone breast implants, saline implants consist of a rubber like silicone shell. It should also be said that studies have shown that most women who get breast implants are happy with the results.
Breast implants are considered by the FDA as medical devices and if the FDA approves silicone breast implants, many young women will get them. While this is not a final approval, it does mean that the FDA may soon allow silicone gel breast implants to return to the US. Silicone breast implants were removed from the market in 1992, and recently reintroduced.
Health Canada has lifted restrictions on silicone breast implants, giving two manufacturers permission to market their products in Canada. The background is that silicone breast implants have been linked to a variety of illnesses, the most controversial of which are connective-tissue diseases and symptoms. One should also notice that there has been a great deal of controversy regarding the safety of silicone breast implants but they have been marketed in the United States since 1963.
The Canadian government has now reversed a partial ban placed more than 14 years ago over health concerns linked to silicone breast implants. New research suggests that silicone breast implants could be replaced by tissue grown from a person´s own stem cells within a decade.
What are the risks with these implants? Well, some studies indicate that women with cosmetic breast implants have a significantly increased risk of suicide. A long-term study suggests that cosmetic breast implants do not increase the overall risk of getting cancer. Although breast enlargement is a simpler form of surgery than other cosmetic breast procedures and complications can occur. The risk is about 1% but if it occurs the implants will have to be removed. There is a very slight risk that breast implants may rupture during a mammogram and the longer you have an implant, the greater the risk it will leak or rupture.
As it now is the most commonly performed cosmetic operation not performed under local anaesthesia the results are very good. As with any surgery you should have a comprehensive, informative and understandable consultation with the doctor performing the surgery. That is crucial.
Louise Wasa always writes about valuable news & reviews. A related resource is Breast Implants More info can be found at Questions & Answers