Silicone Breast Implants Do Not Cause Disease, Experts Say
WebMD News Archive
The analysis also could not draw firm conclusions about any connection
between ruptures or leakage of the implants and connective-tissue diseases,
since many of the studies did not provide adequate information on these
occurrences. Some researchers say that the outer shell of the implants, not
just the silicone gel inside, may be making women sick.
The controversy over the implants is unlikely to end here. Supporters of
women who believe implants have made them ill say that it's not possible to
conclude there is no connection between the implants and these diseases based
on published scientific studies -- some of which were financed by implant
Sidney Wolfe, MD, medical director of the Public Citizen Health Research
Group and one of the first to petition the FDA in the late 1980s to ban
silicone implants, tells WebMD that the latest analysis is interesting, but
doesn't add much to previous findings.
"There has not yet been a properly designed and large enough study to
answer the question of whether there is a significantly increased risk of
[immune-system] disease in women with breast implants," Wolfe says. He says
analyses such as Janowsky's are interesting, but are simply rehashing old
information, some of which was based on studies that were inadequate to begin
Wolfe says that while he is not convinced silicone implants cause
immune-system or other diseases, he believes there are enough questions about
their effects that the investigations must continue. The National Cancer
Institute is conducting a large-scale study of women who developed breast
cancer after getting implants, and Wolfe says its results should provide more
- According to an analysis of 20 published studies on silicone breast
implants, there seems to be no association between the implants and diseases of
the immune system or connective tissue.
- Silicone breast implants were banned in 1992, and manufacturers of the
devices have settled lawsuits with women who became ill.
- The analysis did not examine why the women had breast implants, whether for
cosmetic or reconstructive reasons, and could not determine a possible
relationship between rupture or leakage and serious health problems.