Silicone breast implants have been in the news quite a bit lately. We want to address some of those concerns.
Breast implants are not lifelong devices. The FDA recommends you get an ultrasound or MRI after a few years to check if they are intact. Mammograms alone do not evaluate implants well. If you have had your implants in longer than a few years, you should make an appointment to see us. We have handheld ultrasound in the office to evaluate your implants. Any changes should be reported as soon as noticed.
The cancer they have been talking about which may be caused by implants (ALCL) is quite rare– believed to be less than 1 in 3 million. The first sign of this is often a collection of fluid around the implant which occurs more than a year after initial surgery. This is called a “late seroma.” If you have any changes to your breasts, you should come see us. We can see if you have a seroma with ultrasound and test the fluid. ALCL seems to occur only in women who have, or who have previously had, implants which are textured.
Many women are also expressing concern about other health problems related to their implants. This is being called BII or Breast Implant Illness. While this is not a specific, defined diagnosis, Dr. Rosenthal believes that many women’s bodies do struggle with either the implant itself or contamination around it. These women are well-served by having it removed. There are options to remove implants and maintain a good appearance to the breasts.
- Everyone with implants more than a few years old should come in for evaluation
- Any changes to the breasts, particularly one getting suddenly larger, need to be checked
- Cancer caused by an implant is rare (1 in 3 million) and it is NOT a breast cancer
- This cancer appears to only be associated with textured implants
- Many women with breast implants are complaining of health concerns and worried their implants may be involved. If this is you, come talk with us to see if removing your implants is right for you.
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