As breast cancer cases linked with breast implant rise, health officials agreed to increase efforts on informing patients about the risks and benefits of breast implants.
Currently, there are two breast implants available in the US Market – saline-filled and silicone gel-filled. Although it may vary in size, thickness and outer surface, the shell of both variants is made from silicone.
The settlement was done during the two-day public hearing arranged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this week. The panelists primarily discussed health problems patients have been calling breast implant illness.
According to an article published this month in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a link between breast implant and systemic disease has been reported as early as the 1960s.
One particular condition that was heatedly discussed is a rare cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which is a form of autoimmune disease. A report has said that the risk of having this condition is high among women who have textured breast implants.
The risk of breast implants
One of the attendees of the discussion was Valerie Lenie. She got breast implants in 2008. Years later, she suddenly suffered from food allergies, stomach issues, joint pain, and shingles. She also claimed that she suffered from infectious mononucleosis, or “kissing disease” which is a condition that can be transferred through saliva.
She had consulted multiple doctors who failed to give her any specific diagnosis. Then, she had an MRI assessment, through which, she found out that there is a leakage on her implants. After she had her implants removed, the symptoms did not occur anymore.
Lenie, who had her implants removed in 2017, urged the doctors to consider their patient’s implants next time they cannot find out anything about their ailing condition.
Lenie now manages a Facebook page called Breast Implant Lawsuit where she gathered people to form a support group for women who want to pursue breast implant-related lawsuits.
The statistics of breast implant
Compared to 2017, the statistics of breast augmentation procedures conducted in the United States has increased by 4%, which now amounts to a total of 313,735 procedures.
Not all women experience any “breast implant illness”, but at least 20 percent of the total number of patients had it removed within eight to 10 years since the implant operation due to complications, according to FDA.
The president of the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group in New York, Dr. Tommaso Addona, claimed that breast implants are not “lifetime devices” and it only has a lifespan of seven to 10 years.
Dr. Andrea Pusic, president of the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF), said that the association appreciates and supports the discussion about breast implant safety.
Since 2012, the association has been working with the FDA on creating a registry that tracks cases of lymphoma-linked breast implants. Last year, the National Breast Implant Registry was also launched in the US. The registry is meant to collaborate with the FDA and implant manufacturers to improve and further strengthen post-market surveillance infrastructure, which now includes device tracking services, for both current and possibly future breast implant devices in the United States.
Source: Staff Reporter