This afternoon I assigned myself some ‘homework,’ since I’m feeling a bit under the weather and I’m tired of napping. I have yet to come to a decision on whether my implants will be filled with saline or silicone. This conversation hasn’t taken place with my PS, but today’s research will be the topic of my next visit.
My research has led me to the following Pro’s and Con’s:
Saline Pros: more natural for the body to absorb if/when it leaks or breaks; less expensive ($1,000 less than silicone); no need for biannual MRI’s to detect leakage (if they leak, you deflate and it is very noticeable); less likely to cause future problems than silicone implants.
Saline Cons: more likely to ripple or wrinkle; looks and feels less natural if you are thin or have minimal breast tissue (cons are largely aesthetic).
Silicon Pros: feels and looks more natural, especially for thin women or those with minimal breast tissue.
Silicon Cons: difficult to detect leakage; MRI’s mandatory after three years, then every two years after that; studies suggest there may be a link to silicon leaks and autoimmune diseases, cancers and other diseases, though not enough long term studies have proven this.
OTHER: Breast cancer reconstruction patients should also consider the following: Implants interfere with mammograms (which detect future cancer), breast implants can limit treatment options for future breast cancer, cancer survivors with implants experience more complications and are more likely to need additional surgery to correct these problems compared to augmentation patients…
This is from http://www.breastimplantinfo.org/news/recon-bi-mast.html
“In 2001, Food and Drug Administration scientists reported a significant increase in fibromyalgia and several other autoimmune diseases among women whose silicone gel breast implants were leaking, compared to women with silicone implants without extracapsular leakage.3 The National Cancer Institute (NCI) found a doubling of deaths from brain cancer, lung cancer, and suicides among women with breast implants compared to other plastic surgery patients.5 National Cancer Institute findings regarding autoimmune diseases were not definitive.6 National Cancer Institute scientists concluded that more research was needed to determine if implants increase the risk of cancer or autoimmune diseases.5,6“
Where is all the long term research? It seems interesting to me that researches that follow women 3 and sometimes 5 years, but it is hard to find anything beyond 5 years. The statistics don’t look good for being problem free, but it does seem from the pro’s and con’s that saline has a lower risk of problems down the road.
OK, so what is a girl to do? I don’t know whether I would have chosen another path, but I do wish I had done more research on this before my delayed reconstruction surgery. I’ve got my expander in place in my left breast and am now committed to move forward. I just didn’t fully realize that there was so much ongoing ‘maintenance’ involved with the reconstruction decision.
I haven’t made a final decision, but right now I think I’m leaning towards saline. My PS and I will need to chat very soon so I can make a decision. I’ll ask him about his professional opinion, manufacturers/products he uses and his patient longitudinal data and experiences. More on this later…