Breast implants were first sold in the 1960’s, but it was not until 1991 that the American Food and Drugs Administration required manufacturers to submit safety studies. By then almost one million women had had breast implants without the silicone being approved by the authorities.
Medical journals started booming with articles about breast-implanted women suffering from tissue diseases, fatigue, lung diseases and autoimmune diseases.
The first comprehensive safety study implemented by the American Food and Drug Administration in 2000 showed that almost 80 percent of the women had at least one broken implant after 10-15 years, even though surgeons since the 60’s had told the women they would last a lifetime. In 21 percent of the women, the silicone was migrating out into the body, causing infections and pulmonary and neurological diseases.
But even more alarming was the risk of cancer, which was increased by 21 percent by the implants. Radiology experts pointed out the fact that implants could interfere with mammography, thus delaying the detection of a tumour. No statistics exist on this, but it has been suggested that of approximately two million women with implants, the diagnosis of cancer of 40,000 women may have been delayed with deadly consequences.
Conservative estimates of the number of additional deaths resulting from breast implants are thus in the range of 12-15,000 people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration still allows this type of silicone implants.
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Links and references:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration report on breast implant implications:
The physical implications of silicone implantations:
Pictures – not for children:
National Center for Policy Research about the lack of consumer safety: