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Are Implants Safe?
Breast implants are very safe. In fact, no other medical device has been studied as much as the breast implant. A comprehensive report released by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science in June of 1999 examined 2000 peer-reviewed studies and 1200 data sets and reports. Its findings indicated that there was no evidence that breast implants were responsible for any major diseases of the body, including autoimmune disease, cancer, or neurological problems. As well, there is no danger in breast-feeding babies from women who have breast implants.
When Breast Implants Rupture
Should breast implants rupture, the breakage may be immediately visible or may not be apparent for years. For example, saline implants rapidly deflate when they break. The body absorbs the salt water (saline) from the breast implant fairly rapidly over a day or so. Silicone implants, however, may be ruptured for years before being noticed. Often, a rupture is only suspected on a routine mammogram and diagnosis is confirmed with either an ultrasound or MRI. Most ruptures (over 90%) of implants occur within the scar capsule around the breast and do no leak into the surrounding tissue. Only a small minority of ruptures result in any significant leakage of the silicone in the surrounding tissues.
Do You Need to Replace a Ruptured Breast Implant?
Usually the reason ruptured implants are replaced is that patients are symptomatic. They can experience pain, tenderness, swelling or have an undesirable breast shape. However, experience has shown that only a small minority of patients ever have symptoms from a ruptured breast implant. The other main reason for removal is that many patients may not like the idea of having a broken implant in them and opt to have the implant removed or replaced. This is entirely up to the patient.