Silicone Implant Illness: Science versus Myth?

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019 Jul;144(1):98-109. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005710.

Abstract

The purpose of this Special Topic article is to present the current state of scientific evidence related to the safety of silicone breast implants. There is presently overwhelming evidence to support the safety of silicone breast implants. Ultimately, the decision to obtain, keep, or remove breast implants is the choice of the patient. If a patient chooses to have her breast implants removed, it is important to find a board-certified plastic surgeon with expertise in breast surgery. Ongoing studies are strongly encouraged in all areas, from cancer detection to autoimmune disease, as we strive for improved patient safety, patient awareness, and patient education. To the best of our body of scientific knowledge to date, there have not been any concrete or evidence-based studies or peer-reviewed data concerning the formation of a new syndrome: "silicone implant illness." Silicone breast implants are used in nearly 300,000 breast augmentation and 100,000 breast reconstruction operations annually in the United States. Silicone gel-filled implants were first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1962. Since that time, few medical devices have been studied as closely for their safety and associated adverse outcomes. Despite multiple generations of implant shells and gel fillers, the basic components remain as originally designed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child Health
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / etiology
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / etiology
  • Mental Health
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Patient Safety
  • Silicone Gels / adverse effects*
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology

Substances

  • Silicone Gels