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Silicone-istas going batty over Newsweek breast implant story

Posted Jul 11 2008 5:11pm

If it wasn't so predictable it would be funny.

Newsweek magazine ran a vanilla story about breast implants called "Chest Right" which was an overview safety/educational guide for laypeople on some issues re. breast augmentation surgery. It's a very conservative piece and touches on a few important factors like choosing a qualified surgeon, complications, follow up, silicone vs. saline devices, etc.... It quotes the presidents of the two major Plastic Surgery organizations and one of the more well-known female Plastic Surgeons, all of whom are reputable and all of whom have extensive track records of championing patient safety issues. In summary, a very mainstream and respectful treatment of the issue.

Skip to the reader comments however, and you see breathless condemnation of the story by a number of the crusaders that populate the handful of web bulletin boards promoting the idea that a giant medical-industrial conspiracy exists to hide the truth from unsuspecting women about links of implants to every known medical condition and psychiatric disorder known to man. Readers ofPlastic Surgery 101know that there is pretty overwhelminginternational consensusthat breast implants have been vindicated over and over in this regard in the medical literature (readhere).

Now implants have their own issues, namely capsular contracture and surveillance for rupture, but we appear poised to make signifigant progress on these issues with the 5th generation form stable silicone implants seemingly poised for approval. Both the major manufacturers, Allergan & Mentor, have arranged for inservices this spring for their product reps on these devices. To me this suggests they've already heard thru the back channels that FDA approval is imminent and are getting ready for a new marketing push. You'd think with the improved performance data on these devices, the people upset over existing implants would be encouraging the FDA to act. On the contrary they're determined to push the FDA to rescind access to all breast implant devices (silicone and saline).
Dr. Rob Oliver Oliver Plastic Surgery
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