In a recent nytimes.com article, the debate concerning the after care of silicone implants used in cosmetic breast plastic surgery was addressed. In 1992, silicone implants were limited to the use of reconstructive surgery only. This was due to the fear of silicone possibly causing chronic disease. Manufactures of the implants such as Dow Corning found themselves the target of many class action lawsuits.
Last November, the Food and Drug Administration gave the go ahead for the use of silicone implants in cosmetic surgery procedures.
Makers of the implants are to instruct doctors to advise their patients to have at least two M.R.I’s a year to detect ruptures. Then three years after the surgery, a recommended one M.R.I every two years.
So now this brings us up to date with the pros and cons of the after care guidelines. Some doctors say the recommendations are unscientific and it hinders the diagnosis and treatment of each individual patient. Many will ignore the recommendation all together, while others will unhappily comply with it. The argument for some is that the price of having numerous M.R.I’s would eventually cost more than augmentation itself.
The other point of view by some doctors is that these recommendations should indeed be followed because there is simply not enough information about the durability and rupture rate of silicone implants.
NYtimes.com quotes Dr. Michael H. Rosenberg, a Westchester, N.Y. plastic surgeon as saying:
“The guidelines are critically important because we really don’t yet know how best to follow- up these patients, what tests they should get and how often.”
Two key differences between salt water and silicone implants are:
1. When a salt water implant ruptures, it deflates rapidly and the salt water is absorbed by the body.
2. Silicone implants may rupture without the patient knowing it and the gel remains in the breast area. The results are painful lumpy nodules forming along scar tissue.
Platinum, being used to manufacture the shell and the gel itself does no seem to bother most patients. The FDA believes that the platinum contained in the implants is in the zero oxidation state, which poses the lowest health risk.
One would think with all the controversy surrounding silicone implants, the sale of these implants would be down. But on the contrary, the sell of silicone implants are on the rise. They are said to feel and look more natural than saline implants. Astonishing, are the lengths many women will go through all in the name of beauty.
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