Silicone Breast Implant Safety

A great deal of safety research combined with more than 40 years of clinical experience has proven the efficacy and relative safety of silicone gel breast implants. Aside from the unique adverse effect of capsular contracture, the complication rate of silicone implant surgery approaches that of any clean elective procedure. To date, no convincing evidence exists of any systemic disorder attributable to silicone.

As these are artificial devices, they have a failure rate and, in some patients, can require a significant amount of surgical maintenance. As with all natural body parts, these artificial substitutes may be subject to injury or disease and, when viewed from that perspective, have favorable risk-benefit characteristics.

Silicon – Silicon is a metal in the same column as carbon in the periodic table; it is the most abundant element on earth and does not occur naturally in its pure metallic state

Silica – Silica in its crystalline form exists as common sand, marble, or quartz; it also occurs in an amorphous form, and very fine, extremely pure, amorphous silica is used as a filler to strengthen solid silicone, such as in the shell of an implant (each grain of silica is encapsulated tightly in silicone so that even when the elastomer is abraded or torn, no silica is exposed to the body)

Surgical procedure
Surgery for insertion of the devices can be performed under local or general anesthesia and is usually an outpatient procedure. The incision for cosmetic insertion most commonly is made along the lower edge of the areola, in the axilla, or in the inframammary fold. For postmastectomy reconstruction, the existing surgical scar usually is used for access.

A generous pocket is made for the implant in a plane either deep to the breast on the pectoral fascia (submammary) or beneath the pectoralis major and/or serratus fascia (submuscular). The implant is then inserted and the incision closed.