Dr. Michael S. Beckenstein

Several patients, during their intial consultations with me, in Birmingham, are fearful of silicone breast implants. They share, with me, many false impressions about these devices that create a tendency for them to choose saline implants. I offer them explanations, direct them to my website www.msbmd.com, and provide them with other sources of information to help educate them about these implants. It is important to allow patients to make rational, eductaed decisions about what implants they choose. Below are three common fears patients present about silicone gel implants.

  1. If the devices fail (break) the gel will “leak” into the body: The new cohesive gel, in implants, is more “firm” in consistency and does not leave the shell. The gel is more like “jello” than a liquid. The capsule surrounding the implant also serves as a barrier, protecting the surrounding tissues from contact with any gel.
  2. Implants break in 10 years and need to be replaced every 10 years: Studies conducted by the implant manufacturers state that the failure rate is less than 1% per year. This means that in 10 years, there is less than a 10% chance of them failing. An MRI and possibly a new ultrasound can be used to detect implant failure determining if replacement is recommended.
  3. Silicone gel causes illnesses such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other disorders: There are many studies that have extensively reviewed this and there is NO association of gel implants with any systemic illnesses. If this was the case, the FDA would not approve these implants for use!

Silicone gel implants are safe for use in breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. Patients should not fear them and should calmly consider them for their procedures.

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