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Silicone Breast Implants FAQ
Are silicone breast implants safe?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, silicone breast implants are safe and effective for use in breast augmentation, revision, and reconstruction procedures. Clinical studies have shown no link between silicone implants and certain health conditions, such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. Various Institute of Medicine reports support these conclusions.
On what did the FDA base their approval of silicone implants?
The FDA approved silicone implants based on the following:
- A thorough review of clinical information gleaned from adjunct studies, international studies, lab testing data, and the large body of published scientific writings on silicone implants and their safety
- Deliberations on two advisory panels since 2003
- Inspections of both companies' manufacturing facilities
- Laws regulating medical devices
How long do silicone breast implants last?
No breast implants last forever. Most women can expect to have their implants replaced at some point. Childbirth, weight gain, loss, and other bodily changes that occur over time may affect the need for replacement or revision surgery. Generally speaking, however, silicone breast implants can last anywhere from six months to 60 years.
Do silicone breast implants require any kind of maintenance?
The FDA recommends that women with silicone breast implants have an MRI performed three years after the initial implantation and every two years thereafter to ensure that the implant shell has not ruptured and that there is no leakage.
How do silicone breast implants compare to saline breast implants?
Most people think silicone implants feel softer and more natural than saline implants. Unlike in saline implants, ruptures or leaks in silicone breast implants tend to be more difficult to detect. Women with silicone implants are also encouraged to have routine checkups, a fact which makes their total cost exceed that associated with saline implants.
Why is the age requirement for silicone implants higher than for saline implants?
The FDA has approved saline implants for women 18 and older and silicone implants for women 22 or older. The ages are different because the risks are different. Silicone implants require MRI monitoring to detect "silent" ruptures whereas ruptures in saline implants are almost immediately obvious.
How much do silicone breast implants cost compared to saline implants?
Typically, silicone breast implants will cost about $1000-$1500 more than a comparable set of saline implants. However,
the cost of any breast implant surgery will depend on numerous factors, including the surgeon, location, and more.