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Do Breast Implants Have An Expiration Date?

I read someone said she had to get her implants re-done 20 or so years later. I thought that getting breast implants was a one-time thing. How long do breast implants last?

Breast implant surgery is definitely not to be considered a “one time thing.” That is one good finding that came out of the breast implant craziness of the 1990′s in the US; the time at which the FDA banned silicone gel implants and demanded studies.

Interestingly, the implants themselves are not always the problem that leads to re-operation. It can be the body’s reaction to them. Silicone gel breast implants in particular can Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Medical Mythbuster: Mold in Saline Breast Implants

I read online a woman telling about how her saline breast implants got mold and she had terrible problems. Does this happen very often?

A few years ago I put up a YouTube video of my experience with silicone gel breast implants. Now every six months to a year somebody posts a comment about how saline implants are just as dangerous. A frequent portion of that response is a statement about a moldy saline implant. My response is and always has been, if saline implants are so often affected by mold, then why have I never seen it?

I have been implanting (and at times removing) breast implants for over 15 years. You would think if something was a dangerous and common phenomenon that I would be seeing it. I haven’t. Not even once.

A saline implant when left on a table outside of your body can develop mold, but this doesn’t seem to happen inside patients. The difference is probably that when implants are properly placed inside a woman’s breasts, her immune system helps protect them from such problems. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

Breast Implants And Lymphoma: New Safety Alert From The FDA

From the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety alert yesterday:

ISSUE: The FDA announced a possible association between saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a very rare type of cancer. Data reviewed by the FDA suggest that patients with breast implants may have a very small but significant risk of ALCL in the scar capsule adjacent to the implant.

BACKGROUND: In total, the agency is aware of about 60 cases of ALCL in women with breast implants worldwide. This number is difficult to verify because not all cases were published in the scientific literature and some may be duplicate reports. An estimated 5 million to 10 million women worldwide have breast implants. According to the National Cancer Institute, ALCL appears in different parts of the body including the lymph nodes and skin. Each year ALCL is diagnosed in about 1 out of 500,000 women in the United States. ALCL located in breast tissue is found in only about 3 out of every 100 million women nationwide without breast implants.

While the FDA’s new report is interesting, as it stands it’s of little consequence. A mere 60 cases of a unusual breast cancer worldwide is a tiny number compared to the huge number who develop the much more common ductal breast cancers (about one in seven women in the U.S.) Breast implants have not been found to affect this more common cancer incidence. I do expect this statistic to be misquoted by the anti-breast implant factions online.

As an aside, I do remember a case in a fellow plastic surgeon’s mother of a lymphoma near a breast implant capsule when I was a resident. This is the only breast cancer of this type I have ever seen, however, in 14 years of practice. While I don’t doubt the association, I do focus on the significance of this report to the average breast implant patient, which is very little at this point.

- John Di Saia, M.D.

*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*

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