Are breast implants safe? My answer is yes.
In over 20 years of performing breast implant surgery in my plastic surgery practice, I have encountered very few complications in my patients as a result. For women who want larger breasts, who want the size and shape of their breasts to match, or who have had a mastectomy and want breast reconstruction, breast implants are a highly satisfying, long-lasting solution. As well as breast augmentation, I offer a complete range of breast procedures which you can learn about here.
Two breast issues recently in the news
There are two issues involving breast implants that have gotten a lot of press lately. The first one is about the safety of textured implants, and the second one involves an FDA review of breast implant-related illnesses. To help patients more fully understand both issues, I’ve made a short 2½-minute video explaining the details of each. You can read a summary of what I talk about (below) or you can watch the video by clicking on the image here.
Concerns about textured breast implants
There are two general types of breast implants: textured implants and smooth implants. In my plastic surgery practice, I use smooth implants but there are a lot of plastic surgeons, especially in Europe, who have been using textured implants for quite some time.
The issue that's currently in the news involves ALCL, a type of cancer that can occur with textured implants. It's unusual and quite rare, but it is definitely associated with textured implants, and this has caused patients to be concerned about it.
If you have textured implants and your breasts are normal, with no fluid collection around the implants, it's unlikely that you have anything to be concerned about.
Of course, if there's any question at all, you should see your surgeon immediately for a thorough exam to determine what could be causing a problem with your implants. However, for women who have had otherwise normal textured implants over the years with no problems, I don't think there is cause for immediate concern.
An FDA panel recently researched breast implant-related illnesses
In the early 1990s, plastic surgeons addressed in depth the issue of whether breast implants caused health problems such as scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis. As reported in multiple scientific papers and FDA processes, implants were proven not to be contributing factors to those illnesses.
As physicians, we are always concerned for our patients and are always checking to see if we’re missing anything, especially regarding implants. All the evidence at this time says that there is nothing to suggest that breast implants cause this group of illnesses.
Many of my patients have asked me: Then why do women with breast implants have these health issues? The best explanation in the scientific literature is that some patients develop illnesses and some patients have breast implants, and with many patients, there is going to be overlap.
In those patients, some will report that removing their implants improves their illness. This is hard to judge because the power of surgery, psychologically, is very strong. With some patients, simply the process of performing surgery to remove their implants will cause their health to improve, even if their implants weren't necessarily causing the illness.
I offer three types of breast implants, all of them safe
There are three types of breast implants available in the United States today:
- Silicone breast implants that are filled with silicone gel
- Saline breast implants that are filled with saline (sterile saltwater)
- Structured, saline-filled implants that combine silicone gel and saline
Most women—and most plastic surgeons, myself included—prefer the look and feel of silicone or structured implants (rather than saline), both of which are generally considered to look and feel more like real breast tissue. Saline implants are more prone to cause rippling of the skin.
For more information on any of these three types of implants, please contact me. I’m happy to talk through everything with you and answer all your questions.
Considering breast implants?
If you are thinking about having breast implant surgery and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact me and I will send you additional information prior to your appointment. I will assess the current appearance of your breasts, your reasons for wanting surgery, and your specific expectations. Then together, we will decide which breast procedure will most beautifully achieve the results you’re looking for.
Seeing is believing
To see unretouched “before and after” photos of actual patients of mine who have had successful breast implant surgery, please visit the Breast Augmentation page in the Photo Gallery section of my website.
If you have breast implants, particularly textured ones, you should get them checked regularly
If you have breast implants—saline, silicone, structured or textured—it’s important to get them checked for ruptures, slippage, leakage, swelling, the previously-mentioned rare cancer or any other potential problems. For all my patients with implants, I highly recommend getting them examined once a year. Please make an appointment to come in and see me so I can check for any problems.
To learn more about breast implants, I recommend these 4 blogs
So that you can be fully informed on this important subject, I’ve written several blogs explaining breast implants:
- Do You Have Textured Breast Implants? Here’s Why You Should Contact Your Surgeon.
- When Was The Last Time You Had Your Breast Implants Checked?
- Silicone vs. Saline vs. Structured: Which Breast Implant Is Right For You?
- Are You A Good Candidate For Breast Augmentation?
For more information on different types of breast surgery, please visit these pages on my website:
You might also find these pages helpful on my website:
- Breast Procedures
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift
- Breast Reconstruction
- Breast Reduction
- Breast Revision
Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), Samuel J. Beran, MD is a highly accomplished plastic surgeon with offices in Manhattan, Harrison and Mount Kisco, NY. With more than 20 years’ experience and a thorough command of the most advanced techniques and technologies, Dr. Beran consistently provides his patients with the highest level of plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, face, skin and body. Recently, Dr. Beran was named a “Top Doctor” by RealSelf for his dedication to responding to consumer questions and patient feedback. The “Top Doctor” designation is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf physician community.