Silent Risk: Women "Constantly Concerned" About Silicone Breast Implant Ruptures--Expert Says Patient Anxiety Underestimated Because 90 Percent of Surgeons are Male

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Women Health News
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Nearly 75 percent of women say they'd be "very" or "constantly" concerned about "silent" or unknown ruptures of silicone gel breast implants, according to survey results presented recently at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

DALLAS, March 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Nearly 75 percent of women say they'd be "very" or "constantly" concerned

about "silent" or unknown ruptures of silicone gel breast implants, according to survey results presented recently at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Three surveys of 1,143 women showed 97 percent want to know if silicone gel implants rupture, with 95 percent wanting the faulty implant replaced even if it's not causing symptoms. And surgeons – especially men – need to more diligently heed patients' concerns about ruptures, said Vivian Ting, a California-based surgeon.

"The surveys clearly showed that the majority of women have very real concerns about silicone gel in their bodies and the risk of silent rupture," Dr. Ting told attendees at the Aesthetica Super Symposium of ASPS in Las Vegas last week. "Surgeons may underestimate this anxiety simply because they don't share the concern, in great part because 90 percent are male. Yet a woman's anxiety about what is in her body is a critical part of the full treatment picture."

A third-party firm posed questions about implant preference and ease of detecting ruptures to 933 women ages 25-45, of which 45 percent are registered nurses, as well as 108 women in the aesthetic surgery industry, and 102 female physicians. Results across the groups were similar:

  • Most women report they would be "very" or "constantly" concerned of silicone gel silent rupture (73%), including 68% of women who already had silicone gel implants.
  • "Low rupture rate" was the most important implant feature to women after "looks good" and "feels natural."
  • In case of a rupture, women prefer saline come into contact with their tissue rather than silicone gel (91%).
  • The vast majority of women want to know if their silicone gel implant had silently ruptured, which requires an MRI scan (97%) and most would want the ruptured implant replaced, even if it was not causing symptoms (95%).
  • 89% preferred an implant where rupture could be detected by looking at the breast (saline and Structured implants) rather than requiring an MRI scan (silicone gel implants)

As silicone gel breast implants still predominate when such a high level of concern among women exists, it may indicate that many plastic surgeons are either unaware or dismissive of the extent of women's concerns about ruptures. Also, some surgeons may be unaware of new options that may alleviate women's rupture concerns.

"It used to be that silicone gel was considered the only option for the most natural look and feel," said Dr. Jane Rowley, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Texas. "New options like the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant have changed that. Women now can get the same look and feel they want without the silicone gel silent rupture concerns."

With 10-year silicone gel rupture risk from 9.3 percent to 24.2 percent, more women are moving toward new technologies such as the IDEAL IMPLANT®, which has a lower rupture rate for primary augmentation than silicone gel implants, rupture detection by looking at the breast, and only saline coming into contact with body tissue if the implant shell is compromised.

"Surgeons must be aware of these survey findings to ensure women's rupture concerns are taken into consideration," Dr. Ting told ASPS attendees. "Women have a right to have their concerns taken seriously about what is in their bodies, be educated about all of their implant choices including structured saline implants like the IDEAL IMPLANT, and not simply have their concerns dismissed."

Dr. Rowley agreed: "Women don't need to compromise anymore."



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