The New York State Athletic Commission pulled UFC fighter Pearl Gonzalez from the fight card this past weekend because she has breast implants. Apparently in New York, there is a rule that fighters cannot have any medically-placed devices, including breast implants. A UFC first, the decision to pull her from the card came at the last minute, another bizarre decision.
When it comes to breast implants and athletes, is there anything to worry about for patients? Dr. Bill Adams hosts the latest No Spin Live to discuss with board certified plastic surgeons whether or not there is a need for panic.
Do Breast Implants Pose a Threat in Violent Activities?
While still somewhat mysterious, the NYSAC’s decision does not seem to come from a place of data and knowledge. Speculation exists that breast implants simply fall under the umbrella category of medically-placed devices, since there exists no evidence to say they pose a threat to the patient.
“The conclusion is not based on any science; we don’t have any data that would suggest that blunt trauma to the chest with an implant is going to cause any longer-term damage,” says board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Cliff Clark of Florida. “We’ve taken care of all types of breast trauma; gun shot wounds, stab wounds, motor vehicle accidents. You take the implant out and you replace it. I saw the rule in their by laws. I don’t think it’s there for any scientifically based reason. And certainly to do it at the last minute makes absolutely no sense. What they should look at more consistently is the brain, that has a lot more issues for them.”
A Big To-Do About Nothing
“This law probably has nothing to do with breast implants, it probably has to do with people having plates or screws in their hands to give them some unfair advantage,” says Dr. Dan Del Vecchio, a board certified plastic surgeon in Boston. “If anything, having breast implants gives you a disadvantage. If the implants are under the muscle, I don’t see how this helps her at all. I think this is just an old law covering all implanted things in a patient.”