Breast Implant Ruptures, Marketing Expectations vs. Reality
Today is my 1 year explantversary (yeah me!) but I wanted to focus on a big myth that is pervasive across the plastic surgery industry with regards to breast implants. Every day I see youtube videos, photos and general marketing targeted towards women considering silicone breast implants that try to calm the fears of a silicone rupture. They do so by driving over brand new breast implants with cars, stepping on them with high heels, among other tactics. They even cut them in half to show their "gummy bear" consistency, which they allege cannot migrate or cause you issues. In other words, they suggest that, if it ruptures it sticks together and won't migrate, so no need to worry!!!!. (Just a quick minute, both the Patient Labelling & SSED documents , made by the manufacturers of breast implants, outline migration of silicone with or without rupture as a risk of ALL breast implants. So this message by plastic surgeons is directly contradicting the manufacturers of the breast implants).
The gummy bear marketing is all fine and dandy for brand new, unused breast implants, but what about the reality of breast implants that have aged and have been sitting in the warm environment of the body for several years? It's a completely different picture. Spoiler: it doesn't resemble the gummy bear consistency being marketed to you either.
This occurs at any age in ANY breast implant. I have seen it in implants as new as 2 years old (2016 - 2018) and of course much older too. The misleading perception that surgeons are giving women is downright unethical and, in my opinion, false advertising. Are they showing you the truth and facts and allowing YOU to decide if the risk is worthwhile? Or are they are manipulating the truth to sway you and make you feel better about the risks of your decision? Is this what you would consider fully informed consent?
If you'd like to see more silicone breast implants head over to the silicone page (www.biiaware.com/silicone). We are continuously (but slowly) adding more content as I have time to add it. I can say there are LOTS of these examples around from women with every kind of breast implant on the market (yes even the newest, most cohesive "gummy bear" versions available.)
The truth is, these devices break down and begin to degrade in the body from the moment they are inserted. They also have a shelf life that is listed in the Summary of Safety & Effectiveness Data (FYI, those sold in USA & Canada have 2-5 year shelf lives from date of sterilization....Others don't have this information listed because their countries regulators don't require it be tested, established and defined like the FDA does!).
The below quote is from Mentor, MemoryShape Summary of Safety & Effectiveness Data (https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf6/P060028b.pdf) - and a similar warning is listed with other manufacturers like Allergan & Sientra with approved in implants in the USA & Canada.
"With regard to the health consequences of gel bleed, the literature has reported small quantities of LMW silicone compounds, as well as platinum (in zero oxidation state), have been found to diffuse (“bleed”) through an intact implant shell. The evidence is mixed as to whether there are any clinical consequences associated with gel bleed."
The reality is that silicone breast implants turn from a gummy bear consistency into a more liquid, gel mess that can and does migrate. (BUT you should know that silicone can migrate even in NON RUPTURED breast implants, as is outlined by the manufacturers in the Patient Labelling documents).
So remember, this is just another reminder to do your due diligence. Research thoroughly. Read the patient labelling and warning documents direct from the manufacturer and decide for yourself if these kinds of risks are worth the potential benefits.
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