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Silicone Breast Implants Safe, But Not for Life, FDA Says

Silicone breast implant risks have not barred the FDA from declaring the breast implants as safe.

Silicone-gel breast implants hadn't been used for 14 years until the FDA made them available again in 2006, reports CBS News. The FDA has only recently reviewed its findings, coming to the conclusion that they are safe and effective, if used as intended.

According to the FDA's preliminary data, there was no indication that the breast implants caused breast cancer, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or reproductive issues, according to CBS News.

Though, these health risks are different than the risks of complications associated with having breast implants or getting breast implant surgery. For example, studies have shown that if a woman gets breast implants, additional surgeries are often necessary to correct any complications, reports CBS News.

"As many as one in five women who receive silicone-gel filled implants to increase the size of their breasts will need to have those implants removed in 10 years," says Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, the head of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, according to CBS News. About 50% of women who get silicone-gel breast implants to reconstruct their breasts (such as post-cancer patients) will need to get them replaced as well.

Complications from having breast implants can include capsular contracture (hardening of the area around the implant), implant rupture, wrinkling, breast asymmetry, scarring, pain and infection, reports CBS News.

FDA officials are underscoring the need for women to perform follow-ups and check-ups with their physicians, especially if they notice any changes after they receive their implants. Without proper follow up and care, the risk that surgery will be needed to reverse, fix or mitigate the effects of complications are a lot higher, CBS News reports. Patients should get MRIs every two years to check for things like "silent ruptures," since silicone-gel implants don't deflate when they rupture, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Silicon breast implant risk and whether or not breast implants are safe are a huge concern for women - about 300,000 got breast implants last year alone, and more than 60% ended up choosing silicone, reports the Los Angeles Times.

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