This week, members of the Scottish parliament considered a petition by one of their constituents to ban silicone breast implants from use in breast augmentation. The campaign is being kept up by a woman who had a breast augmentation in 1985, an operation she claims caused her to suffer a wide array of health problems, which led to 14 subsequent surgeries. The Scottish parliament is considering the petition seriously, which included requesting a report from the parliament’s information centre.

The report read in part, “The risks posed by silicone gel implants have been investigated three times at the request of the UK Department of Health. None of the reviews found a link between silicone gel implants and connective tissue diseases or other systemic illnesses.” At this point, the only science that supports these links is dated before the 1996 ban on breast implants. None of it is systematic in nature, consisting mostly of anecdotal reports that have been unconfirmed in systematic reviews of breast implant patients.

Why are there so many anecdotal reports of people getting illness after breast augmentation. A consultant accounted for this during the hearings: “If you get 1,000 women who have breast implants and you follow them for ten years, a proportion of them will have all sorts of problems. But if you get 1,000 [women] of similar age, ethnicity, and background without implants, they will have the same proportion of illnesses.” Women identify breast implants as the “cause” of their illness because they believed they were healthy before they had implants, but they got sick afterward.

Scientific studies have looked for, but been unable to find a link between breast implants and:

  • Systemic disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Birth defects
  • Disorders in breastfeeding children

Which is why the FDA lifted the ban in 2006, saying that breast implants are, for all intents and purposes, completely safe.

If you are interested in breast augmentation, don’t let hearsay, rumors, and outdated science keep you from getting the look you desire. To learn more about the science and safety of breast augmentation, please contact Dr. Vasdev Rai at the Cosmetic Surgical Center, serving patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.