The Science That Makes Silicone Safe for Breast Implants

“Are silicone breast implants safe?” That’s undoubtedly one of the questions in your mind if you’re considering breast augmentation surgery. Many women seeking breast enhancement prefer silicone because they feel it more naturally mimics the look and feel of breast tissue. However, you may have heard some concerns about the risks of breast implants that make you feel anxious about pursuing this life-improving surgery. Here’s some information to set the record straight and put your mind at ease.

Breast Implants Are FDA-Approved

If you’re worried about the safety of breast implants, you should know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved them for use as a medical device after they passed a series of challenging clinical trials.

Both silicone and saline have received approval as implant materials. From a safety perspective, the most notable difference between these two is what occurs in the unlikely event that one or both of your breast implants rupture.

Can Your Implants Rupture?

Though designers of implants intend them to be long-lasting, their permanence is not necessarily a guarantee. If you choose to get silicone implants, you should be especially aware of the very small but possible risk of an abnormality called a “silent rupture,” in which the silicone leaks out into the surrounding tissue and there are no immediately obvious symptoms.

Monitoring can make a world of difference for women with silicone breast implants. The FDA recommends women with silicone implants get MRI screenings to detect any silent ruptures three years after their original surgery, and every two years subsequently. In the rare event that your exam suggests a silent rupture, you will need to explore your options with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, including a revision to your original breast implant surgery.

What Else Does the FDA Tell Us About Breast Implant Risks?

According to FDA research, other than a rupture, the most frequent complications of breast implants include the following.

  • Swelling and soreness in your breasts
  • Breast pain or infection
  • Temporary changes in nipple sensation
  • The desire for revision breast implant surgery
  • Capsular contracture, a circumstance where a thick, often painful, ridge of scar tissue forms around the implant

The FDA has issued a statement that they have identified a tenuous association between breast implants and the development of a cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma within the capsule or fluid surrounding the implant. However, their current studies do not suggest any connection between breast implants and breastfeeding challenges, reproductive issues, or connective tissue diseases.

Can You Reduce Any Risks of Breast Implant Surgery?

If you choose silicone implants for your breast enhancement, you may be wondering how to get the most out of your surgery. We always recommend doing your homework and selecting an experienced, reputable plastic surgeon to perform your breast enhancement procedure.

Not all surgeons who advertise their skill set in breast enhancement can deliver on that promise. Selecting a board-certified cosmetic surgeon is the single best way to ensure you will experience excellent results, as well as the highest standards of safety, quality, and comfort.

If you’re ready to learn more about how we can help you feel more confident, feminine, and proud of your appearance with our breast enhancement procedures, contact us at The Maryland Institute for Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation at either our primary office in Baltimore or our satellite office in Columbia, MD.