Women have been getting breast implants or “boob jobs” as early as the 1990s, without much word from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA.) Today, however, the FDA has a larger role in what is and isn’t allowed in women’s bodies. Still, they warn that each body has different reactions and therefore you still run a great risk with any form of implant.
Let’s start with the basics:
What kind of breast implants are there?
There are two major implants used, both can have either textured or smooth silicone shells:
A silicone shell filled with sterile salt water. These are approved by the FDA for women over the age of 18.
A silicone shell filled with silicone gel. These are approved by the FDA for women over the age of 22. It is also recommended that you get an MRI once every 3 years to be sure there is not a leak.
Many people see or hear about “boob jobs” all the time, but does anyone really talk about the risks? Dr. Khan at Executive Plastic Surgeon wants you to be aware of them and to know what to expect if you want them removed. As more and more women have come out to talk about their problems associated with breast implants. Many are choosing to have the implants removed and feel better.
Here are some of the biggest issues that could arise from breast implant surgery:
1. Rupture with deflation of saline-filled implants
Because saline is a liquid, when the silicone shell ruptures, the solution will escape into your body. Physically, this will be noticeable as the shape of your breast will decrease or deflate. Something like a tight hug won’t cause leaks, but more pressure like a mammogram or needle could lead to the rupturing of the shell.
2. Silent Rupture
Unlike when the saline-filled implants rupture, with the gel-filled shells you are less likely to notice. Because this gel is thicker than saline, it will still keep its shape and most likely stay within the shell or scar tissue. If it travels through the body, it can lead to other, more serious side effects mentioned below. A silent rupture doesn’t have the symptoms that normal ruptures would, such as changes in sensation, pain, or smaller breast size. This is why the FDA suggests you receive and MRI every 3 years along with your normal doctor visits. The Magnetic resonance imaging is more accurate and can catch what a general examination may not.
3. Depression and anxiety
Many women do not automatically notice or realize that their emotional and mental state has been altered at first. For most, they may be even less likely to connect their anxiety or depression to their surgery. However, as the 70,000 women in the closed Facebook group “Breast Implant Illness and Healing” understand, it is a real problem that affects many. The FDA cannot confirm that breast implants caused the anxiety and depression many women feel. In a 2007 study ran by the NCIB, they found that women with breast implants were twice as likely to commit suicide than those without surgery. As the study states, this information calls for a more in-depth study on the relationship between mental health and breast augmentation. Speak to your doctor about your mental and physical health when considering surgery.
4. Autoimmune and systemic issues
Some patients have found that their body has gone through various other autoimmune and systemic issues. Some experience eczema, tonsillitis, irritable bowel syndrome, sinus infections, lymph node issues, inconsistent or nonexistent menstrual cycles, hair loss, and more.
5. Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma and other cancer risks
The FDA and other studies have found cases of women with breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) all from those who have textured implants rather than the smooth saline shells. A 2016 study ran by the World Health Organization explains that this cancer happens from leakage into the body cavity. If caught early, removal of the capsule should be fine, however, “If there is invasion through the capsule, there is risk of lymph node involvement and systemic spread, warranting systemic chemotherapy.” This information does not mean that all women with textured implants will develop this rare case of cancer, but studies suggest they are at a heightened risk than those without. Much is still unknown about the correlation between this specific form of cancer and breast implants but speaking with your doctor and getting regular checkups should help be sure your body is healthy. You should administer self-checks and if you notice any lumps or unusual marks, reach out to your doctor immediately.
6. Additional surgeries
Breast implants will not last a full lifespan and therefore will lead to additional surgeries in a person’s life. On average and without complications, implants last about eight to ten years before you need to have them removed. In that time, the additional surgeries may be to remove or replace the implant, to fix tissue damage or scarring, to treat implant leakage, repositioning the implant, or treating any other complications that may arise in or around the breast due to the implant. Not only are these surgeries exhausting for the body, but they are also expensive and emotionally draining.
This list is neither a complete list of symptoms that may occur nor does it mean a person with breast implants will experience any of these complications. It is meant to guide you in your decision making and be sure that you understand the potential risks before making your final choice. If you have any questions, reach out to our office at (734) 419-1615 or firstname.lastname@example.org