Breast Implants

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Report says silicone implants are safe, Dr. Maupin says they’re not the best available.

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In episode 50 of the BioBalance Healthcast episode, Brett Newcomb and I discuss breast implants based on a recent New York Times article which quotes Dr. William Maisel from Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices as saying silicone breast implants are safe, but more study needs to be done.

Brett comments that in this report, the FDA is sending of “definite maybe” message, and stresses that careful consideration is still required by women and their physicians before implant surgery is performed. The report mentions potential side effect with breast implant surgery as in any surgery, including infection, wound issues, scarring, pain. Asymmetry is a problem unique to breast implant surgery and can occur based the type of implantation being done. There is a new type of implant on the market that solves the asymmetry problem, as long as both breasts are being replaced, mentioned later in this podcast.

Implants are often used by breast cancer patients who have their beasts removed, but are more frequently used for cosmetic reasons. Although I don’t do breast implants, I’ve done breasts exams on thousands of women over the past 25 years, so I know which of my patients have them. I have found no indication of breast cancer occurring more in women who have had implants verses no implants, or with silicone or saline implants.

Sometimes, as a young woman goes through menarche, her breasts grow unevenly. Doctors recommend to waiting until breast development stops, before either performing a reduction on the larger breast, or placing an implant in the smaller one.

Contents of breast implants have changed over the years. Silicone implants are bags filled with silicone with a silicone covering. Implants are placed under the skin or under the muscle based on anatomy or preference of the surgeon. Silicone didn’t age well, sometimes hardening, leaking or rupturing. Additional surgery is needed in these cases.

There was a huge scare about breast implants a while back that incorrectly tied implants to hormonal problems. Women in their forties were complaining of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, and other problems, thinking these common symptoms of menopause were the result of their implants. Women were terrified, and had them removed; it’s better to have them removed rather than live with the anxiety. Misinformation like this can go viral, so it is up to women to get the correct information.

The popularity of saline implants resulted in bad press that silicone implants received. Many women paid to have their silicone implants replace with saline implants. Due to lawsuits, insurance companies were paying women to have this replacement surgery done. Saline implants didn’t feel as natural as the silicone implants—feeling more like a bag full of water—and cosmetically didn’t look as good. Saline needs to be replaced every ten years.

The newest implant device is known as the Gummi Bear implant, which is by far the most natural looking.

Visit BBH.com for more info about bioidentical hormones/anti-aging/skin care.