The Truth About Breast Implants

Risa Groux, CN
 | Published: 
September 4, 2018

People strive to look their best and will take action to enhance their appeal, in some cases to extremes.  Whether it be Botox, hair extensions, fake eyelashes, liposuction, or breast implants, we are seeing women going to great lengths to attain the physical image that they picture in their minds.

In 1961 Dow Corning manufactured its first pair of breast implants which were surgically implanted in the first women in Texas in 1962. Since then, their popularity has surged and become quite mainstream in certain areas of the United States.  According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, demand for plastic surgery continues to accelerate and now the majority of these surgeries are due to breast implants.  There was a 4% increase in breast augmentations to 290,467 patients from the previous year.  The global breast implant market size was valued at 1.2 billion US dollars in 2016 and continues to see lucrative growth.  Women are having breast implants not just for aesthetics but for breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery, trauma, or to correct developmental defects.

There are many manufactures producing implants which produce different textures, sizes, shapes, and fillings. The implants approved for the U.S. can be filled with either silicone gel or saline.  In 2016, 84% if total breast implant surgeries used silicone filled implants.  Silicone are in high demand as they resemble real breast tissue whereas saline can show rippling under the skin and not as natural to the touch.  Regardless of the filling, the outer casing is comprised of over 40 toxins and heavy metals.  These chemicals leach into the body day in and day out for the life of the implant. Once the implant is surgically placed, the body produces a capsule comprised of tissue to protect itself from what it sees as a foreign invader.  This encapsulation will remain there until the implant is removed.  Some surgeons will leave the encapsulation in the body and just removed the implant.

Two types of implant shapes are currently on the market and it is all a matter of preference.  Round is the most common shape and gives the appearance of more fullness at the top of the breast. Round is also typically the less expensive option. Teardrop shape is not as popular but very effective for the more natural look.  The fullness is more concentrated on the bottom rather than the top.

It is critical to know the risks with having breast implants.  First and foremost, we now know that women are beginning to be diagnosed with a rare cancer related to implants.  From the FDA.Gov website: The FDA has identified an association between breast implants and the development of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. People who have breast implants may have an increased risk of developing ALCL in the fluid or scar tissue surrounding the implant.

There is also the risk of implant rupture.  Regardless of which filling is in the implant, the implant can rupture and leak either saline or silicone into the body.  Most silicone ruptures go unnoticed for a period of time until there is a physical examination, ultrasound, lumpy breast, or with an MRI. This is why the FDA recommends women with silicone gel implants get an MRI three years after implantation and once every two years after that.  In 1992, the FDA restricted use of silicone gel implants to women having reconstructive surgery following cancer as there were many links to ruptured silicone implants to greater risk of autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus among others.  This restriction would last fourteen years until manufacturers produced different silicone implants.   When a saline implant ruptures, the size difference becomes evident within a few days as the size and shape of the breast will change.  Rupture rates are initially low then start to increase within 6-8 years after implanted.  Given the lack of standardized screening and reporting, and different manufacturers, it is difficult to determine rupture rates.  However, from a recent study, it was concluded that rupture rates went from 1.1% to 19.6% depending on manufacturer and generation of implant. Suffice it to say, implant ruptures increase with the life of the implant and can have health consequences.

Smooth and textured are the two types outer casing of implants produced.  Smooth implants are the softest feeling.  They can move with the breast implant pocket.  Textured implants develop scar tissue to stick to the implant, making them less likely to move around the breast.  Both can be filled with either saline or silicone.  The textured implant has been most commonly linked when a patient is diagnosed with ALCL.

What I am seeing in my practice is once an explant takes place, people are seeing symptoms of autoimmune disease lessen or disappear completely, elimination of full body rashes, swelling and joint pain.

Most studies performed on breast implants and their relationship to disease are performed but the implant manufacturers or the plastic surgery associations and therefore their results are not reliable. Objective testing desperately needs to be performed.  From initial biopsies performed by Doctors who are explanting, findings show the tissue encapsulating the implant are imbedding with staph infection, MRSA, mold, and fungus.  This is very concerning as we have no idea how long they have been living inside that tissue and what damage it has caused.  The FDA recommends removing or replacing breast implants every 10 years.

In conclusion, breast implants are a personal preference.  If you have breast implants, thinking about getting them, or know and love someone who does….I encourage you to know the facts.  Do your research and do what is best for you.

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