Breast Implants And Autoimmune Disease

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

A number of studies have been conducted to find a link between breast implants and autoimmune diseases. In fact, in 1992 silicone implants were pulled from the market as it was believed that they caused a number of different diseases in women. Since this ban, silicone implants are once again allowed as there have still been no decisive studies linking the two.

Implants made of saline contain, as the name suggests, a saline solution which is harmless. In case the implant ruptures the saline solution that leaks out is absorbed by the body and there are not too many serious health hazards. The risk in using saline breast implants could be due to the silicone pouch that contains the saline solution and your body’s response to a foreign object.

Many health complications have been reported by women who have silicone breast implants. These include low-grade fever that is unexplained, loss of hair, rashes on their skin, chest pain, glands under the arms which are swollen and tender, and shortness of breath. However, there is no conclusive study linking the two.

Some studies suggest that there is a strong link found between breast implants and autoimmune disorders. A small section of people who have gone in for silicone implants, have reported diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Another group of people have reported autoimmune diseases such multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus. However, even though there has been a link between breast implants made of silicone and autoimmune diseases, there has been no increase in the disease that is statistically significant. This could be because of the use of contraceptive pills in the case of some women which causes suppression of immune responses. Thus, what could be happening is that the incidence of autoimmune diseases could increase due to the implants and could be going down due to the pills they take. They thus negate each other. Also, women tend to be more prone to autoimmune diseases; thus, any link between the cause and effect could be sheer coincidence.    

On the other hand, there are some studies that show that women who have gone in for breast implants are not at a greater risk of contracting an autoimmune disease as compared to those who do not have the implants. This extends to connective tissue diseases as well such as lupus erythematosus and scleroderma.

The bottom line as far as implants are concerned is that the decision to go in for them should be made after a lot of careful consideration. Check with your surgeon and explore all your options before going in for this surgery.

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