During a breast augmentation consultation the most important decision a woman must make, besides size of implant, is the content of the implant-saline or silicone. Although most of the media hype that occurred in the 1990’s about silicone implants has passed, it has left many patients confused about their safety. To help clear things up a review of history is necessary.
The use of silicone breast implants began in 1963 and continued unimpeded until the late 1980’s. Then anecdotal reports began to emerge suggesting a connection between silicone implants and connective tissue diseases. In 1992 the FDA placed a moratorium on the implants which lasted until 2006. The two remaining makers of implants, in the United States, Mentor Corporation and Allergan (formerly Inamed) presented their findings to the FDA. In addition the FDA reviewed other studies surrounding silicone implants that looked at: cancer, breast cancer detection, connective tissue disease, suicide, offspring effects, neurologic disease, implant rupture, local perioperative complications and additional surgery. On November 17, 2006 the FDA concluded that there was NO link between silicone breast implants and any other disease. In addition the FDA recommended a post approval study of 10 years and 40,000 women.
The silicone breast implant is one of the most extensively studied medical devices. It has been proven time and again to be a safe and effective alternative to the saline implant. Although this does not replace a thorough discussion with your surgeon, patients can rest assured that the silicone implants that are now on the market are safe and of the highest quality.