With the approval of silicone breast implants for cosmetic procedures, plastic surgery will take yet another step forward towards a more natural beauty. The exciting announcement by the Food and Drug Administration approved silicone breast implants for cosmetic procedures for patients age 22 and older.
Previously, the controversy behind silicone breast augmentation arose from women reporting silicone implants to be linked to connective tissue disorders. Therefore, in 1992, the FDA banned silicone implants to the general public, and later allowed certain patients in adjunctive studies to obtain silicone implants. These studies included women who required implants for reconstructive surgery, breast lift procedures, breast revisions, or chest wall deformities.
In the Inland Empire, Robert H. Sorosky, M.D. is a cosmetic surgeon who has been one of the participants in the silicone study which has allowed his practice to offer silicone implants to those patients satisfying the appropriate prerequisites. “I have been part of the silicone gel breast implant study since1994, and it has afforded our practice the opportunity to really look at silicone implants and any underlying effects it has had on women. So far in comparison to saline implants, we have not seen it linked to any illnesses.”
Since 1992, several national studies were performed and proved that there has been no link between silicone implants and any illnesses such as connective tissue disorders, breast cancer, or autoimmune diseases. Based on review of these scientific studies, last week the FDA approved silicone implants for all women age 22 and older.
“Although we have been providing silicone implants to the appropriate patients, this approval will offer all patients the option of obtaining silicone implants. We feel that silicone does have some advantages in terms of natural feel, however, saline implants will continue to play a role in cosmetic augmentation as well.” Dr. Sorosky reports.
The one thing to consider is the fact that silicone implants are pre-filled, and therefore, the incision for the implants must be made longer. The incision must be made under the breast in the inframammary fold or through the areola, so this would preclude the other approaches such as through the belly button or armpit. Also there is an additional cost factor for the silicone implants as well as future costs for FDA recommended followup studies such as periodic MRI’s to detect any rupture of implants with leakage of silicone.
Edward H. Park, M.D. is Dr. Sorosky’s partner who is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and has significant experience with silicone gel implants in his breast reconstructive surgery practice. “Silicone implants have afforded certain advantages in breast cancer patients who will often have thin tissue coverage after a mastectomy. There is less rippling in silicone vs. saline implants, and some of these advantages may now be passed on to the appropriate cosmetic patients.”