[MOL] Many Silicone Breast Implants Break.... [00859] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Many Silicone Breast Implants Break....

Friday, May 19, 2000
Many Silicone Breast Implants Break

      In a study of women with silicone breast implants, ruptures had occurred in two-thirds of the women. Many women hadn't suffered side effects and didn't suspect anything was wrong.
      The National Center for Policy Research for Women called that finding, released Thursday, significant since previous studies on breast implants focused on women who reported problems. The study was conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and involved 344 women. Although 67 percent had reported no problems, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests showed at least one implant per woman was ruptured. In 21 percent of these cases, the gel had leaked outside the breast.
      The study also found newer implants were more likely to rupture than older ones. Older implants were made of a thicker gel, but manufacturers have switched to a new, lighter gel.
      Silicone breast implants were banned in 1992 by the FDA because they had not been proved safe or effective. However, they are available for some women, including breast cancer patients undergoing breast reconstruction, women with congenital breast deformities and women who can't use saline breast implants.
      Currently, about 1 million women in the United States have silicone breast implants. Earlier this month, the FDA gave approval for two California companies to continue manufacturing saline breast implants. That approval came with a stern caveat from the federal agency that women be informed about all health risks.
--By Katrina Woznicki

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