They do not last. They rupture. And the longer they’re in the body the more likely they are to rupture. The statistics are kind of scary, because around about 50 percent are ruptured by 10 years. And when it gets to 15 to 20 years you’re looking at almost 90 percent of implants that are ruptured.
What is most worrisome is that while most of the silicone is contained within the capsule, some of it leaks out, we don’t know where it goes, we don’t know what it does, we have no idea. – Dr. Ed Melmed, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Each year in the United States approximately 300,000 women and teenagers undergo breast augmentation. It’s thought that the total number of implants carried out each year worldwide is anywhere between 5 to 10 million.
Before the operations women are often told by their surgeons that it is a safe procedure with “very little” risk. The FDA also says breast implants are relatively safe.
Yet most of these women don’t know that this is simply not the case.
There is in fact a growing body of evidence, in conjunction with thousands of horror stories from women all over the world who have had implants which have ended up in disaster, to prove that they are not safe and are actually causing debilitating autoimmune disorders and other physical problems in many women.
If you have breast implants, or are considering them, I urge you to take this article very seriously. And if any of your friends or family members already have implants, please show them this article. Their health and life (as well as your own) may depend on this knowledge.
This is a lengthy article but much has to be shared with you so that you can have a deeper level of knowledge.
Like many women, I grew up not feeling very confident with my body. At age 30, after gaining some weight, I chose to have breast implants. The surgery, whilst extremely painful, went “very well” according to the surgeon.
I was pleased to hear that I could have mine in for the “rest of my life,” so I wouldn’t have to spend any more money on them.
But what I didn’t know is that this was a lie. My surgeon actually gave me extremely dangerous and possibly deadly advice.
The truth is no implant on the market today can last a lifetime. Every type (which I will cover shortly) is prone to leaking and rupturing, and in cases of the saline valve implants, they can even become black with mold, causing a systemic fungal problem in a person’s body.
What women don’t know is that whilst they may be happier with how their breasts look, they may end up with auto-immune disorders that are so bad they end up in wheelchairs, or develop arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and a whole host of other problems.
In the eyes of some plastic surgeons (typically the ones that are cleaning up the damage from implant operations), breast implants are a ticking time bomb that put all women are at risk.
Silicone Breast Implant Scandal
We’ve known from fairly recent history that breast implants have caused serious health problems, but for most of the public, that problem is assumed to be an historic one, and that because those implants were removed from the market, the current implants on the market must be very safe.
While the FDA now openly mentions problems that often occur in many women with breast implants, such as leaking and rupturing, they fail to warn the public about the more dangerous connection to auto-immune disorders.
The FDA actually allowed implants to be put onto the market for over 40 years without formally approving them, so it’s not always wise to trust what they say. (1)
You may remember hearing in the media about the huge lawsuit in the late 90’s involving 450,000 US women who took to court Dow Corning, one of the world’s main manufacturers of silicone implants.
While Dow Corning never admitted that their implants were dangerous, they paid out enormous amounts to the victims. Their implants of the 1970’s had a very thin outer shell, were “greasy,” and had a high leakage rate. Many women even lost their lives from illness caused by these implants, whilst waiting for the court to fine Dow.
It was also found that, according to a whistleblower, staff at Dow Corning knew for a very long time that their implants were toxic, yet covered it up for as long as they could.
In their own animal studies, researchers found that silicone could easily leak into the body, and caused tumours in up to 80% of the rats that were being tested on. The numbers were so alarming that the FDA, instead of being concerned, called these studies “erroneous,” which basically means they ‘must’ have been incorrect. The FDA then approved the Dow Corning implants, despite protests from some staff members that there were troubling warning signs.
We’ve also heard about the now infamous French PIP implant scandal which hit worldwide news recently. These implants (which were found to contain toxic chemicals used in mattresses and not approved for human use) are now banned, and women in the UK were offered free treatment to have them removed.
Silicone Implants Now Back On The Market
Despite the huge lawsuits that affected the main silicone manufacturers Dow Corning, Bristol-Myers Scribb, and Baxter Healthcare Corporation (who were sued a whopping 3.7 billion combined), silicone implants are now back in use. They have been added back on the market without adequate long term studies, and the available data on their safety is very concerning.
Shocking Ingredients Found In Silicone Implants
When women are told that their implants contain silicone or saline, they often don’t tend to ask if anything else is being used alongside it. They certainly aren’t told this by the surgeons, who more than likely don’t even know themselves.
Check out the long list of alarming ingredients commonly used in silicone implants:
- Methyl ethyl ketone (neurotoxin)
- Cyclohexanone (neurotoxin)
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Denatured Alcohol
- Acetone (used in nail polish remover and is a neurotoxin)
- Polyvinyl chloride (neurotoxin)
- Dicholormethane (carcinogen)
- Ethyl acetate (neurotoxin)
- Sodium fluoride
- Lead Based Solder
- Talcum powder
- Oakite (cleaning solvent)
- Methyl 2- Cynanoacrylates
- Ethylene Oxide (Carcinogen)
- Xylene (neurotoxin)
- Stearic Acid
- Zinc Oxide
- Naptha (rubber solvent)
- Phenol (neurotoxin)
- Benzene (carcinogen/neurotoxin)
- Lacquer thinner
- Epoxy resin
- Epoxy hardener
- Printing Ink
- Metal cleaning acid
- colour pigments as release agents
- heavy metals such as aluminium (neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer’s and auto immune disorders)
- Silica * (2)
It’s frightening, to say the least.
Some scientists have been taking an in-depth look at the platinum, a toxic salt, found in silicone implants and its connection to ill health. However, after looking at this list above, it seems ludicrous to suggest that one individual ingredient would be the sole cause of these health problems. It’s clear that breast implants are completely toxic.
Its important to know that saline implants ALL have silicone outer shells, so these too can leak silicone and other ingredients into the body, either through rupturing or when the textured surface flakes off.
Types of Breast Implants Used Today
Many women opt out of having silicone implants due to the Dow Corning Lawsuit. But a growing number of women are now choosing to have them again due to the implant’s ability to look more natural than other types. These implants have an elastic type envelope which is pre-filled with a sticky, clear, jelly-like form of silicone. There are a few varieties of shapes to choose from, with smooth or textured surfaces.
With the FDA allowing silicone implants to come back on the market, it is very concerning to know that statistics show (according to Nancy Bruning, author of Breast Implants — Everything You Need To Know) that almost half of all women who have this type of implant will experience a rupture within 6-10 years, and one in five women were found to have silicone migrate to other parts of their bodies.
Saline implants are commonly thought to be safer, yet according to Dr. Kolb, they too have their own very concerning problems which I will cover further on. Saline implants have a silicone shell filled with a saline water, which is salt based and ‘sterile.’ Some types are inserted empty which the surgeon will inflate during surgery with this saline liquid. There is another type of saline implant, which also has a silicone shell, but the inside contains a gel like texture. There are smooth surface saline implants and textured surface saline implants.
According to Nancy Bruning, 60% of women with these types of implants have complications within four years, and one out of five require additional surgery within three years. This is worrisome since we are commonly told that implants either never need to be removed or should be removed every ten years.
Video: Dr Melmed and the FDA showing a severely ruptured implant
Possible Side Effects After Having Implants Inserted:
This is what your surgeon won’t tell you may happen.
- tenderness, lumpiness, or discomfort around the implants
- change in the shape of your breast(s)
- change in the consistency of your breast, such as increased softness
- change in the way your breast moves – all of these symptoms may be a sign your implant has ruptured.
- hardening of breast tissue
- muscle pain
- pain and swelling of the joints
- pain in the soft tissues
- a burning sensation of pain
- tightness, redness, or swelling of the skin
- swollen glands or lymph nodes
- unusual, extreme, or unexplained fatigue
- swelling of the hands and feet
- unusual hair loss
- skin thickening or hardening
- dry eyes, mouth, or vagina
- loss of memory, mental confusion, or ‘fogginess’
- autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, multiple chemical sensitivity disorder, cancer, and biotoxicity problems.
This list was found in the book Breast Implants – All You Need To Know by Nancy Bruning.
It’s rare that something shocks me. But I sat on the panel in ’92 and that was 11 years ago. How we could have come from 11 years ago, where we were going to collect data, to a point where we have a year’s data simply boggles the mind. — FDA Panelist Nancy Dubler in 2003 at the hearings on implant safety
Breast Implants Can Cause Cancer
It might not surprise some of you reading this to learn that there is a link between cancer and implants. Just recently in France, their National Cancer Institute released a study that found a “clearly established link” between Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and breast implants.
French officials have now recommended that breast implants in their country must carry a “cancer warning.”
There is also more evidence to back this connection now that a study conducted by Cambridge University in the UK found that nearly all cases of ALCL were discovered in women who had breast implants.
When you think about how breast implants are inserted — indeed it is quite gory and gruesome surgery — and about the horrific chemicals they are comprised of, it makes sense that they would, of course, pose a cancer risk. And now we have the data to support this.
Systemic Problems Caused By Mold
Another little-known but very serious problem associated with breast implants is that they can grow mold and bacteria, which can wreak utter havoc on the immune system. This is why Dr. Kolb feels saline implants could be just as dangerous as silicone implants. If you have the saline implants that have a valve — designed to allow the solution to be inserted during surgery — and if that implant is damaged later on due to a car accident, hard bump, or mammogram, serious bacterial and fungal problems, known as “biotoxicity,” can ensue. Dr. Kolb discussed this with Dr Mercola:
Once the valve is damaged, especially in certain implants, mold and bacteria can grow inside the implant. If the valve damage causes the implant just to deflate, then the woman will go ahead and get it changed out, and she won’t become ill. But in some implants, the valve injury does not cause the fluid to leak out, but can allow bacteria and especially mold and fungus inside the implant.
I’ve had patients who have had inside the saline in this implant a mold called pennicillium growing. Whenever somebody hugged them too hard or even [due to] breast exams … the patient can become very ill, specifically because she was allergic to penicillin. She would have an anaphylactic-type reaction whenever her implant was manipulated. It can be very, very serious.
… In general, women who have this … bacterial and mold infection in their chest are deathly ill. The mold produces a biotoxin that’s also a neurotoxin. Many of my women come in in wheelchairs. They come in with the diagnosis of MS and lupus together. Fortunately, they have neither.
But some of them are incredibly ill. They have severe mental clouding. They can’t even have a conversation. They can’t hold their head up … Many doctors have said they’re going to die, but of course, they find me and come in.
Video: Breast Implants Can Poison Body With Black Mold
Another little known factor about breast implants is that there is a connection between suicide. While this connection might be more about the woman’s mental status prior to having the surgery (perhaps she suffered from low self esteem and thought implants would make her much happier), it could also be because of the stressful impact the implants have on the body and its many important systems. As we have seen above, implants are linked to neurological disorders, amongst other concerns.
Women who have implants are at least 3 (some sources say 4) times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not have them.
Doctors Who Say “Absolutely Safe” Profit From Breast Implants
Sadly, most surgeons will say to unsuspecting women that breast implants are very safe. With the FDA only really focusing on rupture or leakage problems, then this too also makes the surgeons think the problems are only in one main area.
Perhaps many of them are in denial. They simply do not want to believe that they are in fact dangerous, can cause cancer, and trigger immune problems in many women. They probably have never looked into it further than what the FDA tells them.
Let us not forget that most plastic surgeons make the majority of their money from this increasingly popular operation. Who wants to be told that something that earns them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year may in fact be incredibly harmful to their patients?
Check out this video below from a wealthy US Plastic Surgeon, Dana Goldberg, who went out of her way to make a YouTube video saying that “breast implants are safe and that there is no cancer risk” and that the information going around is just “scaremongering.”
Plastic Surgeon Dana Goldberg’s “Breast Implants Are Safe” Video
I personally would worry that any concerns I raised with her or a surgeon like her would be dismissed.
Breast Implant Studies
It may come as no surprise to discover that most of the breast implant studies which ‘prove’ the safety of this procedure come from the manufacturers themselves. Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D, was involved in more than a dozen congressional investigations (in the 90’s) which discussed breast implant safety (and its serious lack thereof). She raised questions about the huge lack of safety data about implants. This is what I found in Nancy Brunning’s book Breast Implants – Everything You Need To Know:
The poor quality of these studies is why I keep saying we don’t know whether implants are safe over the long term, because the studies were not well enough designed to be persuasive. The information on the IOM panel studied was based on studies that had substantial flaws. There was no federally funded research until recently. Virtually all research done was paid for by the manufacturers or plastic surgeons, and, not surprisingly, their research found that implants were safe. If the only research on cancer and smoking we had was funded by Philip Morris, we would still be listening to the scientists who were saying there’s an association but that doesn’t mean causation.
There have been federally funded studies into longer term safety about breast implants. One of them, which was the first study to ever follow women with ruptured implants, was conducted by the FDA. The researchers found that the women who had this problem were more likely to report also having fibromyalgia or other “potentially fatal” autoimmune diseases or related illnesses such as dermatomyositis, hashimotos thyroiditis, polymyaligia and polyositis, and pulmonary fibrosis. This was because the silicone gel had migrated from the scar tissue into the body. (2)
Another two separate studies, both of which were conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), found the following alarming information: Women who had breast implants, compared to other plastic surgery operations, were three times more likely to die from cancer of the lung or suffer with emphysema or pneumonia. They were also twice as likely to die from brain cancer. (3)
The other study by NCI found that women with implants experienced a 21% increased cancer risk. These types were mainly brain cancers, cervical cancer, leukaemia, vulvar cancer, and respiratory cancer. This often fatal lung-disease connection is from ruptured implants causing an increased incidence of lung disease. (4)
While there has been an improvement in the quality of studies, we cannot guarantee that they are all being done accurately. More recently in 2013, Dr. Zuckerman released a statement regarding the FDA’s quiet approval (which did not have a public Advisory Committee meeting to discuss data, unlike other breast implant approvals) of a new type of silicone implant called Natrelle 410, manufactured by the company Allergen. This is part of what she wrote:
Unfortunately, Allergan has not done a good job of doing post-market studies once their implants have been approved. And, even if they do these studies, by the time these studies are done to find out what the risks are, hundreds of thousands of women could have these inadequately studied devices in their bodies, and could have been harmed by them.
The FDA even admits that Allergan’s own studies didn’t compare the effectiveness and safety of their new implant to other previously approved silicone gel-filled implants on the market.
Not very reassuring is it? Other studies have been performed to examine what happens to some of the autoimmune disorders and other unwanted symptoms after the implants are removed or have not been removed.
97% of women reported vast improvement after removal and in the 96% that did not have them removed their symptoms worsened.
I think it’s safe to say, at least in my own opinion, that breast implants are simply a danger to the body.
Mammograms Can Rupture Breast Implants
If you have implants, you need to be aware that having mammograms can actually do serious damage to them. Because the procedure involves intense squashing down of the breast tissue, this has been known to cause ruptures, and if the implants do begin to leak, what is inside them will likely leak into your body.
Video: A lady’s experience with ruptured implants caused by Mammogram
It must be said that there is also alarming information that mammograms are not safe to have, even if you don’t have implants.
Video: Dr. Mercola interviews world renowned expert on the dangers of implants, Dr. Susan Kolb MD. F.A.C.S. A.B.I.H.M who is also the author of The Naked Truth About Breast Implants
Is There A Safe Implant?
If you absolutely must get implants, then according to breast implant expert Dr. Susan Kolb, the safest type is the saline implant that has a smooth surface and does not have a valve. This is because the textured implants have been found to have particles flake off into the person’s body which can then attack the immune system. And if there is a valve, as mentioned previously, a systemic fungal infection can ensue.
Checking Up On Your Implants
If you already have implants, I’d be willing to wager that, like myself, you were never told to have them checked for leakage or problems every few years. But this is what we should have been told.
There are a few ways to monitor any possible problems. The first is by ultrasound and the second is by MRI scans. Both of these can pick up on ruptures and leaking. I would personally go for the ultrasound as MRI’s have their own risks too. I urge you to consider having checkups done so you can keep an eye on how they are doing inside your body.
Removal Process: Difficult, Risky, and Surgeons Often Have Not Done Many Correctly
If you decide to have your implants taken out, it might not be as simple as you would like to think. If you have health problems associated with your implants, such as leakage or mold, you will need a surgeon who is highly skilled in the removal process. Dr. Kolb was interviewed by Dr Mercola about this:
I would advise people to ask a surgeon how many explantation surgeries they’ve done. Unlike putting implants in, taking them out is very technically difficult, especially if they’re under the muscle. There can be a very thin layer of tissue between the lung and the capsule. You have to know how to do this correctly, or you can get what we call pneumothorax or entering into the chest cavity, which is where you’re not supposed to be.
Surgeons who have not done at least 50 explantations do not know about all the different things you might encounter, and are not comfortable removing the entire capsule. They probably should not be doing the surgery. Leaving the capsule behind is quite dangerous in terms of the patient not getting well. There is not only silicone in that scar capsule, but there’s a biofilm of bacteria, fungi, and other elements we don’t know. Biofilm is very difficult to treat with anything other than surgery, and women simply don’t get well.
Many surgeons don’t use drains. Surgeons not using drains are not good because that fluid needs to drain out because after all, fluid in the chest wall is a nice warm, dark space that can grow fungus. It can grow bacteria. Women often become way more ill after surgery because their surgeons gave them antibiotics without giving them antifungals. I tell all my patients, “For the rest of your life, you’re going to need to take antifungals whenever you take antibiotics.” And it’s so true.”
You must also be aware (and rarely do the surgeons stress this to you) that when you sign up to have implants, they must be changed every 8- 10 years so that they remain in the “best and safest” condition.
I was personally told by my clinic in Europe that mine would “last a lifetime.” I also was told they were so robust that they would not burst and could even have a car driven over them! I now feel very cheated knowing this is dangerous and highly incorrect advice.
What they should have said to me is this:
All breast implants will eventually break, but it is not known how many years the breast implants that are currently on the market will last. Studies of silicone breast implants suggest that most implants last seven to 12 years, but some break during the first few months or years, while others last more than 15 years. (5)
If you are contemplating having implants, it’s wise to think realistically about the longterm cost of breast implants, as they are not just a ‘once off.’ If you are to do it as ‘safely’ as possible, and have them replaced every decade or so, then you could be looking at spending tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Can you really afford this, or the care that is needed if something goes wrong?
You must also remember that there are no guarantees that they will even be safe for those ten years — you could run into problems months or even a few short years after initial implantation.
You’ve got to ask yourself, is it really worth all that money, pain, and possible risks to your health?
Wanting Them Out May Not Be Immediately Possible
As someone who has implants myself (I have entered into my 9th year which is now creeping right into the danger period of when problems can occur), it’s incredibly frightening to have this knowledge, and of course as soon as I did this research, I wanted them taken out immediately.
However just like having many mercury fillings in your mouth — and realising you want them removed asap yet can’t afford to — removing implants with a skilled surgeon is a very costly procedure and has to be done by someone highly qualified (who might not be that easy to find).
And if, like me, you also don’t have the money, it becomes extremely difficult to just suddenly decide, “I am going to have them out ASAP.”
Personally, I have two problems right now: one is a lack of funds, and the other is that even if I had the money, I am soon to be expecting my second child in just a few weeks’ time, so I now cannot possibly have them removed, as I want to breastfeed.
Worryingly, information is now emerging that mothers having breast implants may be risking the health of their children!
As discussed in the article What You Need To Know About Breast Implants, the authors wrote about the concerns with breastfeeding and toxicity:
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), women with any kind of breast surgery, including breast implant surgery, are at least three times as likely to have an inadequate milk supply for breastfeeding. Concerns about the safety of breast milk have also been raised, but there has not been enough research to resolve this issue. A study of a small number of women with silicone gel breast implants found that the offspring born and breastfed after the mother had breast implants had higher levels of a toxic form of platinum in their blood than offspring born before the same women had breast implants.
I’m taking measures to decrease my toxic load until I have my implants removed, yet it still is a big worry to me about what I could be doing to the health of my daughter and any future babies. I will be testing both my children for heavy metals and ensuring they are on a very good diet and supplement protocol.
Research Thoroughly Before You Decide
Before I had my operation, I spent hours trying to find the ‘right’ clinic and surgeon. But none of my research involved looking at this other, ‘darker’ side to breast implant surgery. If only I had looked into this more before I made such a serious decision.
Perhaps I never looked into this side because my vanity took precedence over safety. Even with this alarming information I have presented, many women may still want to ignore it because the thought of having their implants taken out — and what that will do to their self esteem — worries them more than these health risks.
Dr Frank Vasey suggests that the cosmetic and psychological benefits of implants are so powerful that they keep women in denial, reluctant to even consider the possibility that in order to get healthy, they may have to give up their implants. I find this true even when we experience definite physical symptoms such as pain, tightness, and hardness. Most of us love(d) our implants. We got them because we wanted them; we were willing to undergo surgery for them – some of us many times. Symptoms, no matter how severe, have a tough time outweighing the desire to be whole again or to fulfil our society’s standard of beauty. – Nancy Bruning
Ladies, if you want bigger breasts because you don’t think what you have is good enough, please think very carefully about having breast implants for just that reason. They may end up causing you much more trouble than they’re worth.
There may well be a place for breast implants, especially for those who have suffered breast cancer or serious disfigurement, and as I have covered previously there is a type of implant that is thought to be the ‘safest,’ but even then, these implants may in fact put women’s lives at further risk.
These women would need to regularly check that their implants were not leaking or have ruptured and it would also mean getting them replaced within the specified time. They would also really need to gauge their health and see how they feel as time goes on.
The Urgency To Change Society’s Obsession With Appearance
As a society, it is urgent that we stop making women (and young girls especially) feel they are less than perfect if they don’t measure up to the air-brushed models and celebrities we see in magazines. Living in our superficial world today is much more challenging for young people, who are growing up seeing so much emphasis placed on looks; it’s no wonder that they have such low self esteem and often think, “If only I was prettier, richer, famous, had bigger boobs, then I would be much happier.”
We’ve got to somehow stop our children and teens from becoming narcissistic and obsessed with beauty. We need people to see what breasts are really for, and that is for feeding children. They have become so sexualized that we have collectively forgotten their purpose.
It’s great to see many famous celebrities opting to have their implants taken out. I am sure you might agree with me that they look much better with their natural, smaller breasts.
Why do we want to mess with our breasts (and our bodies in general), cause unnecessary stress on our health, and risk developing cancer and debilitating autoimmune disorders, just so we can look better?
No one told me there were risks in having implants. I was young and did not think having foreign objects in my body could cause any problems. I was wrong. My breast implants started to cause me a lot of pain and then they ruptured. I became extremely sick and at first didn’t know why.
As I look back 15 years ago, the year I got my saline implants under my muscle, I had many health issues. I had my gallbladder out due to illness, a staph infection & a terrible flu. Was it all due to the fact that my immune system was compromised because of these foreign objects called implants?
No one warned me. I am lucky that I came across information about the dangers of breast implants. My original surgeon said that they were not the cause of my problems. He was wrong. There is evidence out there to prove their is a connection. There needs to be information given to every woman out there.
How many women right now are suffering similar problems yet are being told it’s all in their head. Women who undergone mastectomies and have implants after having breast cancer often have no idea that putting these chemically based products into their bodies CAN CAUSE further health problems. Leigh, Laguna Beach CA
References and further research resources:
(2),(3),(4) Breast Implants – Everything You Need To Know by Nancy Bruning
(5) The Naked Truth About Breast Implants, Kolb S 2010.
Breast implants and cancer
Read this brilliant article about Saline implant dangers
This is an excellent article to read about Silicone implants
What You Need To Know About Implants
Explant Breast Implant Removal
Breast Implant Ruptures
Breast Implant Horror, Leaky, Scarring, Black With Mold
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