It is something like 1 out of 7 American women have even heard of breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Augmenting the breast was the top cosmetic surgical procedure in 2019 most often among women between ages 35-50. The United States was the top country. Breast implants can put a woman’s life in danger.
National Breast Implant Awareness Month was founded in March of 2018 by The Implant Truth Survivors Committee. They are advocating to women for better information about breast implants and providing education on the risk involved with each type of breast implants.
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis. More details.
Through resources not available from other places, the awareness is to get information out during this month hoping to bring a positive message in the lives of women by improving their ways to prevent illness connected with implants.
With awareness the past couple years women have decided to explant in hopes to avoid a BIA diagnosis. This brings attention to know the truth about breast implants.
What are Breast Implants?
Some common questions asked about breast implants are:
Should I get breast implants? Should I get saline or silicone? What about style? What about monitoring after surgery?
A breast implant is a medical prosthesis (may be referred to as a device) placed inside the breast to augment, reconstruct or create the breast physical form. It is placed under the chest muscles or breast tissue, a pocket is formed. On average, the implant can last 7 to 12 years.
The two types of breast implants approved by the FDA:
Saline filled (salt water solution) and silicone gel filled. Both contain a silicone outer shell. They differ in size, thickness or the shell and its surface texture and shape (contour).
Saline implants are filled with a sterile saline solution similar to salt water. This solution is inside an elastomer silicone shell. The amounts of saline solution can differ between implants affecting its feel, firmness and breast shape.
In the case of a saline implant leaking, this solution is naturally absorbed and expelled through the body.
Silicone gel implants are made of a silicone outer shell filled with a silicone gel.
In the case of a silicone gel implant leaking, either the gel will stay in the shell or leak into the breast pocket. The leaking implant has the possibility of collapsing.
Regular checks should be carried out more with the doctor for those choosing this type of implant compared to those receiving saline implants. MRI and ultrasound scans are used to check the condition of the implant.
What should you know about Breast Implants?
The FDA has offered information to help with decision making about breast implants. They have approved women getting implants in order to increase the breast size, with reconstructing the breast after cancer surgery or trauma and to fix defects having to do with development. Also the FDA has approved implants to fix or improve the results of earlier surgery.
Limited Information about Breast Implants
Acknowledgment of the limited information concerning rare events and the long term effects regarding silicone gel filled breast implants has brought on studies of both silicone and saline filled implants for several populations.
In protecting women support is needed on Informed Consent Laws of her state. This would include:
- Having an ingredient list available with the shell of each implant
- ALCL risks with an explanation of it being a cancer involving the immune system
- Requiring plastic surgeons to test women for autoimmune disease before getting implants
- Those with breast implants having MRI and ultrasound or even Thermography instead of mammograms
- Having these women connected to surgeons for at least 10 years with a goal of 12-15 years making sure these women are aware the capsule and implant need to be removed every 12-15 years because implants are not lifetime devices
Know the Risk for Breast Implants
Even though approval consists of extensive testing risk remains including:
- More surgeries
- Breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) this is a cancer of the immune symptom
- Capsular contracture (scar tissue squeezing the implant)
- Breast pain
- Rupture (tear or hole in the shell) of saline and silicone gel filled implants
- Deflation (having visible difference with breast size) with saline filled implants
- Silent (no symptoms) rupture of silicone gel filled implants
There is a difference between silicone breast implants versus injectable silicone. The injectable is not FDA approved for use in breast augmentation, breast reconstruction or use in body contouring.
Breast Implants Are Not Intended for Lifetime
Your chances are greater the longer you have breast implants to develop complications leading to more surgery.
It is difficult to predict the life span of the breast implant from person to person. That means eventually everyone with breast implants will need more surgeries. Additional surgeries can be requested to alter the aesthetic outcome like the size or shape.
Know your Long Term Risks with Breast Implants
The FDA identifies a connection between breast implants and the occurrence of breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) a kind of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
If you have breast implants you may increase your risk of developing this cancer in the fluid or scar tissue around the implant.
Breast implants have textured surfaces (shell) or smooth. BIA-ALCL is usually seen more often in those with textured implants versus smooth-surfaced implants. BIA-ALCL similar to other lymphomas is a cancer affecting the immune system and not actual breast tissue.
Some health conditions have been experienced in women with implants like connective tissue diseases (like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis) difficulty breastfeeding, or reproductive problems.
Currently there isn’t enough evidence supporting a connection between breast implants and these particular diagnoses.
Women receiving breast implants report having various systemic symptoms including:
- joint pain
- muscle aches
- chronic fatigue
- autoimmune diseases
The woman’s risk with these symptoms occurring has not been established well. To understand their origin researchers are looking into these symptoms.
Wrapping it up
It is important to stay in contact with your surgeons to monitor your breast implants. This is often not discussed. Breast implants are not meant to be for your lifetime. Consider the time and cost to remove or replace.
Where would you turn when faced with BIA symptoms and insurance? The explant may not be covered.
March is National Breast Implant Awareness Month. It is important to get this prosthesis labeled and explained. The truth about Breast implants is getting more informed.
Do you personally know someone who has received breast implants? Does she still have them?
Please share and subscribe to email, thanks!
Header Photo 4 young females together by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels