Gotta weigh in on this one: the New York Times reported today that 93% of silicone breast implants rupture within 10 years. Whoa! But it’s O.K., a panel of experts is on the job.
The experts are to decide by April 13, the last day of the hearings, whether the implants are safe enough to be approved for wide use. The Food and Drug Administration then decides whether to follow the recommendation.
The panel voted, 9 to 6, in October 2003 to approve silicone implants. In an unusual move, its chairman later wrote a letter to the F.D.A. urging that it reject the recommendation.
They voted to approve?? Wha?
The crucial issues are how often the implants break, what happens to the silicone when they rupture and what health effects result.
Yes that would pretty well cover the critical issues. Let’s see, a couple of pints of liquid silicone are loose in my bloodstream. Nah, I can’t see a problem. In fact, the new president of the plastic surgeons, who is on the payroll of implant manufacturers, feels the same way: The news is “surprising,” – Yes, let me think about it for a minute…What the hey? Let’s keep using them anyway!
Dr. Mark Jewell, president elect of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, said he was surprised that the agency had estimated that silicone implants failed so often.
“That’s certainly news and does need to be addressed,” said Dr. Jewell, who has consulted for Inamed and Mentor. “But I feel that the devices should be approved.”
Important issues are at stake here, like how a woman feels about not having men stare at a region approximately 12 inches below her chin when she speaks.
Underlying the scientific issues are deeply emotional questions about self-image. Physicians are allowed to use silicone implants for women who need reconstructive surgery after major illnesses like cancer. Broader approval would most likely accelerate the growing popularity of breast-enhancement operations.
Some advocates believe such operations should be discouraged. Others say larger breasts can provide women with important help for self-esteem.
Yeah, what’s a little silicone in the blood compared to such important help? Thank goodness science is so responsibly watching out for women.