Debate Continues Over Silicone in Breast Implants - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/11/05

Debate Continues Over Silicone in Breast Implants

It's been more than a decade since the FDA said that with the exception of cancer patients who want to reconstruct the breast, no more silicone for breast implants because they can rupture or leak.

Now, two implant companies say that makes no sense. They say the FDA should lift the ban allowing silicone again for anyone who wants it even for cosmetic reasons. So, the FDA is hearing opinions and some women are sharing emotional stories.

"Because of my ruptured implants and exposure to silicon and platinum I've been diagnosed with MS, and lupus and fibromyalgia and scleroderma among many other things," says Susan Helman, who had her silicone implants removed.

But there are many who argue those cases are tragic, but no longer a threat. Today's silicone implants are new and improved and safer than ever.

"They're very much like gummy bears. They hold their memory. They hold their cohesiveness. They do not leak. They stay where they are," says Dr. Laurie Casas, with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The reason many women prefer silicone is it feels more natural than saline. But any implant, silicone or saline will need to be replaced in 10 years, 15 if you're lucky. Which means the average woman who gets an implant at age 25 could easily need at least three more surgeries in her lifetime to keep the same look.

The FDA panel votes on Wednesday whether to recommend silicone approval when the issue is considered by the full agency.

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