PSC Roundtable

Can Breast Implants Be Toxic?

Can Breast Implants Be Toxic?

Crystal Hefner, former Playboy model and wife of founder Hugh Hefner, recently announced on social media that she’d had her breast implants removed because she had developed a myriad of symptoms that resembled what she called, “breast implant illness.” These symptoms included fatigue, food intolerance, back pain, brain fog, and recurring infections to name just a few. The question is, can breast implants be toxic and cause systemic disease? Our panel of surgeons weigh in with a resounding, “No.”

by Katherine Stuart

Science Doesn’t Lie

In the early 1990’s, silicone gel implants were taken off the market due to a knee jerk reaction to the fear that certain diseases such as autoimmune and connective tissue disorders might be linked to their use. After significant scientific testing, silicone gel implants were deemed completely safe by the FDA and re-released on the market in 2006. It should be noted that they were never take off the market in the rest of the world.

As Dr. Clifford Clark of Winter Park, FL explains, “the overwhelming scientific data suggests that there is no relation between systemic disease and breast implants.” This is good news for patients. Thanks to the scare, breast implants are now the most studied medical device of all time, so they’ve never been safer. It’s important for patients to look at the big picture when making a decision about whether or not to remove their implants.

rt-toxic-breast-implants-00_02_24_19-still002

Dr. Bruce Van Natta of Indianapolis, IN completely agrees. He too lived through the scare of the 90’s and thinks of the new media storm around Ms. Hefner’s implant removal story as, “groundhog day.” “When people are having a medical condition, they want to find an answer and breast implants have been an easy target,” he explains. Science doesn’t lie, however. All of the data has overwhelming shown that breast implants are safe, which is why the FDA brought them back.

Plastic Surgeons Must Act As Patient Advocates

Dr. William Adams of Dallas, TX fears that stories such as Ms. Hefner’s give patients the wrong message. Apparently, Ms. Hefner was diagnosed with both Lyme’s disease and toxic mold, either of which could have been the root cause of her symptoms, but she laid the focus and blame on her implants. By doing so and sharing her story on social media, she could be mistakenly leading other patients to believe that if they take out their implants then it will miraculously cure whatever is ailing them.

Dr. Clark believes that plastic surgeons must act as, “patient advocates.” “We’re reviewing the science,” he explains. “We want to help patients make great decisions.” If a patient wants to remove her implants, she has every right to do so. Our experts just want them to do it for the right reasons. As Dr. Van Natta explains, “anecdote can be powerful.” Celebrities can tell their story, and it may make them feel better, but it doesn’t necessarily make what they’re saying true. It’s important for patients to know all the facts so that they don’t think that every time they have, “hangnails, hemorrhoids and headaches, it’s because of their breast implants.”

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PSC Roundtable

More in PSC Roundtable

Taking recovery seriously to maximize results.

Taking Recovery Seriously to Maximize Results

Shaun Parson, MDOctober 3, 2017
Instagram and plastic surgery.

Instagram and the “Insta” Desire for Cosmetic Improvement

Richard Restifo, MDJune 8, 2017
Buttock implants and augmentation.

The 2 Minute Drill – Buttock Implants and Fat Grafting

Steven CampMay 22, 2017
Medical tourism - safe or not?

Medical Tourism – Safe or Not?

Katherine StuartMay 1, 2017
Skincare products from plastic surgeons.

Skincare Must-Haves According to Your Plastic Surgeon

Mark Epstein, MDApril 21, 2017
The truth about breast shapes.

The Truth about Breast Shapes

Ashley Gordon, MDApril 4, 2017
Celebrity and look-alike plastic surgery.

Famous Features: Surgery to Look Like a Celebrity?

Anne MeyerMarch 17, 2017
The modern facelift procedure and options.

The Facelift and Facial Rejuvenation of Today

Camille Cash, MDMarch 6, 2017
Selfies and plastic surgery.

The Link Between Selfies & Plastic Surgery

Anne MeyerFebruary 2, 2017