Are silicone implants unsafe?

In 1992, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, placed a moratorium on the sale of silicone gel filled breast implants. Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) followed suit. At that time, there was some concern that silicone caused autoimmune diseases, among other things. We now know that this is not true.

It was believed by some people that silicone somehow caused your body to attack itself – like in rheumatoid arthritis which is a disease where the body attacks its own joints. Big studies since 1992 have repeatedly shown no evidence that silicone has any relation to these diseases.

The manufacturers, on the other hand, did make implants that ruptured too easily, and the gel that was used was like honey and would run out any hole in the implant shell, and into the tissues. The implants now come with a much tougher three-layered bag, and contain ‘cohesive’ gel that behaves like a jelly, not a liquid – and doesn’t run anywhere nearly as much as the old implants, if at all.

Silicone is everywhere – hairsprays, makeup and baby bottle teats. In fact all our syringes and needles are lined with liquid silicone as a lubricant, and they have been able to measure the amount of silicone that is injected each time – so, we all have a little liquid silicone in our bodies. Diabetics probably have more than anybody, and they do not get “autoimmune” diseases any more frequently than the rest of us.

Australia’s TGA examined all the scientific evidence and since 2001 has allowed us to use silicone gel implants. There is a comprehensive booklet about breast implants on their website which I recommend you read ( Comfortingly from late 2006, the FDA also has allowed silicone gel back onto the market in the U.S.A.

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