By Vanessa Lopez
The Food and Drug Association recently lifted the 14-year ban on
silicone breast implants after it ruled that the implants have no
connection to tissue diseases. The ruling added that the surgery
for implants might have painful complications, including painful
contracture of the breasts.
“Silicone implants are safe and effective,” said Donna-Bea
Tillman, director of the FDA Office of Evaluation.
The silicone implants have been restricted to women 22 years of
age or older. This hopes to ensure teenage girls will not attempt
to go through the surgery before their body fully develops.
However, in cases involving cancer, reconstructive surgery may be
used for all ages.
In the early 1990s, silicone breast implants were linked to
connective tissue disease. Connective tissue diseases are disorders
featuring abnormalities involving the collagen and elastin.
Collagen and elastin are types of proteins altered by tissue
stretching. In 1994 Dow Corning Inc., the leading maker of silicone
breast implants, signed a $3.75 billion lawsuit to thousands of
women who reported having serious injuries against the product.
The newly enhanced silicone implants have some doctors
rejoicing, while others are not pleased with the FDA’s reviews.
“This is wonderful news,” said Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, a Beverly
Hills plastic surgeon.
Breast cancer survivors are anticipated to get the silicon
breast implants. They have been the only consumers in the U.S.
allowed to go through the procedure. Many others are expected to
take advantage of the lifted ban.
“The benefits of having them are notable, not only on the
external but on the internal as well. Breast implants do not just
enhance your outer beauty, they also increase your self
confidence,” said Paulina Carreon, fourth-year sociology student.
“Breast implants are not just limited to women who desire them for
attention. They are also desired by breast cancer survivors, which
can lead to great expectations in their lives.”
Although some students agree with the excitement, others
“I bet plastic surgeons around the U.S. are excited about the
news. Now they can make more money without any legal discomforts,”
said Daisy Ornelas, a fourth-year history student. “Women sued
manufacturers before and won. What could have possibly changed to
make them safe?”
The ban was made when manufacturers could not prove the implants
were not a risk to women’s health. But after years of being banned,
studies could not prove a link to cancer or other life-threatening
“There is obviously no immediate danger if I was to get silicone
implants,” said Tranisha Riley, a first-year English student. “They
wouldn’t have lifted the ban if doctors didn’t think it was safe; I
think it’s great and women should be able to do and get whatever
There are risks to any surgery and one risk of a silicon implant
operation are silent ruptures, which are leaks with no symptoms
that cannot be detected visually or by touch. Rupture occurs in the
implant shell and may occur the first year after being implanted.
The FDA will continue to look for any risks and suggest getting
regular MRI exams.
Despite the FDA’s ruling and progress concerning silicone
implants, some students are still thinking health first.
“I’ve always wanted breast implants, but I would never go
through the procedure because I don’t think it’s safe,” said
Christina Navarro, a second-year pre-veterinarian student. “In the
end, my health is more important to me than my appearance.”
Consumers are urged to follow up after the surgery and should
consider possible side effects, which include loss of sensation in
the nipple and minor irritation.
Vanessa Lopez can be reached e-mail at email@example.com or
by phone at (909) 869-3744.
FDA Ends Ban of Silicone Breast Implants
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