Our panel of experts take a look at some of the latest stories surrounding breast implants in No Spin Live Episode 9, giving you the true skinny on fact versus fiction. Breast augmentation surgery is definitely one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world with over 1.3 million performed in 2014 alone according to the latest statistics. It is an arena in which new innovations are the norm both in terms of types of implant used and placement. It is also a procedure that garners a lot of media attention.
Leaky Breast Implant, Back in the Media
Johnson & Johnson was recently sued over a leaky breast implant. Is there any validity to the case, asks Dr. Bill Adams of Dallas? For Dr. Jason Pozner of Boca Raton, he feels as if this story is taking us back to 1992.
After the first implant scare, “we went back to the drawing board. We did tons of studies on this. Implants are safe. They’re going to break. They don’t cause any long-term medical problems.” This lawsuit is just about people looking for more money. Dr. Dan Del Vecchio agrees that this is a frivolous lawsuit. Both the patient and the attorney are simply using litigation to get publicity.
For Dr. Kevin Smith of Charlotte, it’s really an issue of causality. This women did have problems, but blaming it on an implant that, “we know is generally very safe is not the right way to go,” he says. “People are making this sensational.” Dr. Sean Doherty of Boston agrees that this kind of hysterical sensationalism is the last thing that the industry or the patient needs.
While Adams agrees with our panelists, he had to ask: If the implant ruptures, which it can do, does the gel cause health problems? Has that been studied before?
“To my knowledge, there’s no evidence that leaking gel, especially the cohesive gel causes any problems beyond [what we already know which is simply local inflammation],” explains Del Vecchio. Trying to link a leaky gel implant to osteoarthritis and all kinds of auto-immune diseases has never panned out. Implants are going to malfunction, but “silicone is in baby diapers. It’s in your hair gel. It’s in a lot of tablets. It’s in every body.” In fact, in over 34 studies, it’s never been proven to cause any health problems whatsoever.