Breast Implants and Silicone is a Beloved Topic.
For many years the evening papers and weekly magazines have published ignorant articles about breast implants, and especially about silicone gel implants. Many statements drawn from doctors, journalists and lawyers have been wrong and ignorant, concealing important information. However, the surveys that have been carried out since 1992 onwards have revealed that silicone gel implants are not harmful to women. There is no connection between auto-immune disease and silicone gel implants. And in the group carrying silicone gel implants, the rate of breast cancer is up to 30 % less than in a control group, and implants do not make it more difficult to detect lumps in the breasts but, on the contrary, easier.
After the revelation of this fact, the media has become quieter and has even played a positive role in the scandal of the PIP implants. It was recently revealed that PIP implants contained industrial silicon instead of the high-grade medical silicon intended for humans.
During the latest decade silicone gel implants have been improved and are covered by three layers of solid silicone around an interior of a stable gel material.
Today, the life expectancy of our silicone implants is 25-30 years. The round or drop-shaped implants that we use are both safe, but the round implants of different profiles, sizes and heights have gained a much larger market over the last years.
Why Silicone Implants?
Why are we so persistent in our use of silicone implants? The reason is that their cohesion gives the most natural breasts, both with regard to shape and elasticity (shape/firmness). Furthermore, today the risk of complications is minimal. Saline gives much harder breasts and you risk the development of wrinkles and folds called rippling. They do rupture and the saline does leak!
Nobody denies that like other implants, silicone implants can occasionally but rarely cause local problems with infections, bleeding or capsular formation, which is very rare nowadays (1/701 in our material), and sometimes intermittent local pain. This pain usually disappears spontaneously. We have had one infection in twenty years. The implant must then be removed and a new one inserted after 3 months. No expenses for the patient. Bleeding occurs in 1/100 patients and is treated with a drain for 2 – 4 days. This has been without complications.
False Statements from a Doctor about Silicone Breasts
A doctor said in an article that silicon is transported from silicone implants to all parts of the body. Is this true? NO! The occurrence of silicon in the different organs of the body has been measured and, surprisingly, the result shows that we all have silicon in all parts of our bodies, due to contamination of our environment! Women with leaking old silicone implants did not have any higher rate of silicon in other organs of their bodies than other people! The modern cohesive gel implants with thick covers do not leak!
So where does this environmental silicon come from? The substance has many names, such as methicon, dimethicon or simethicon etc. and is part of 2-3000 products available in our environments, such as lipstick, mascara, medications against air formation (even for children), different tablets, syringes, silicone tubes, sprays, ointments, creams etc.
Research from Scandinavia and elsewhere has not shown any connection between auto-immune decease (rheumatic deceases) and silicone implants. No company that produces silicone implants has ever admitted that silicon influences the immune system or could cause general illness. Extensive studies speak decisively against this assumption.
Continued Use of Silicone
There are, even amongst Swedish women, those who have claimed compensation because harmful effects of silicone implants, but they never had their implants removed and some have even changed to new silicone implants later. We have had such women in our clinic. Today the debate regarding silicone implants is quiet. The ban on silicone has now also been removed in the United States several years ago, due to the favourable results of the research. In Europe, we always felt safe due to previous research.
The main task for the journalists and for opposition against silicone today is to find illegal contamination that can cause health problems. Medical grade silicone is what the body accepts. That is the reason for our obstinate perseverance with silicone implants.
The Institute of Plastic Surgery has played an important role in the development of breast surgery. We have presented our technique at medical congresses, in scholarly papers and weekly magazine articles as well as in TV-programmes.