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Misconception Correction – Silicone Gel Breast Implants Do Come With Risk

Posted Aug 31 2005 12:00am

Looking at the online forums, it seems that the prevailing attitude is that if you are having problems with your saline implants, a switch to silicone gel is the universal cure.

Although I am not in total agreement of the FDA position on the matter, I believe that silicone gel implants pose a long term risk to the patient. In my experience, they tend to harden much more readily than their saline-filled counterparts. The newer cohesive gel types are just that: “new.” There is no long term data showing us how patients implanted with them will do. They are probably better than the older gel implants, but they will leak to some extent and the outcomes of this are not as of yet known.

Hardening in the case of silicone gel frequently involves calcification. Your body deposits calcium inside a scar tissue shell around the implant. It looks like egg shells:

This patient had had silicone gel implants for twenty years before I removed them. The white layer in the picture is calcium.

Saline-filled implants do not tend to do this.

Therefore, I tend to use silicone gel implants as a last resort.

Until Later,

John Di Saia MD

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