I think the press about silicone implants being "more natural" is a real disservice to women contemplating breast augmentation for the first time. I had Dow silicone implants placed in 1979 at age 26, and now have had saline for five months (June 2007) after a grueling 4 1/2 hour explantation on January 22, 2007.(the new implantation took an additional 30 minutes.)
I believe that the FDA has totally "lost it" in allowing silicone back on the market. Now even more women will be ill in the future - they'll be happy campers for 10 years or so until the side-effects creep up on them. That a government agency designed to protect medical consumers is allowing this to happen is criminal and unreal, and that medical practitioners support this is absolutely mind-boggling. The anecdotal experiences of hundreds of thousands of women must be worth something - to say there's no proof that silicone implants cause health problems is akin to saying the earth is flat because it sure looks like it just because no one has gathered and analyzed any evidence to the contrary. . .
Notice that most of the "experts" who mouth propaganda about silicone safety are the manufacturers and plastic surgeons, the ones who profit most from implant surgery. My primary care physician, a female osteopath, was skeptical at first that my problems were implant related, but by the time my surgery rolled around, I think she was convinced. She still had a hard time digesting the fact that the FDA isn't acting in the best interests of the American public and women in particular, despite the recent upheaval over Vioxx, which matches the implant controversy in the breadth of incompetency and greed.
Watch the rheumatologists and neurologists who deal with patients with implant-related disorders and bravely step forth and declare that implants have directly caused severe immunlogical problems. These doctors are on the right track and are the hope of the movement to ban silicone implants in every form - breast, penile, etc.
I think saline has taken an undeserved bad rap in regard to naturalness for little reason - perhaps this is a "psyops" ploy planted by silicone implant manufacturers to stay in business. My new saline implants (under the muscle) look and feel far more natural than my silicone implants (under the breast tissue) ever did, and for now at least, most of my my health problems have cleared up. In fact, I woke up from the surgery more clear-headed than I'd been in a decade, an incredible turnaround. My breasts are now soft, jiggly, totally real looking and have no numbness. With the silicone implants they were too high, hard, unyielding, almost immovable, and had little sensation.
I am very, very fortunate in that my insurance company paid for not only for a breast MRI but an MRI of my brain despite the fact that my problems were caused by an elective procedure. I had many, many neurological and fatigue symptoms and pain, and eventually, a two-inch tear and visible extrusion of silicone right under the skin at the top of one breast. Because visible tissue necrosis began within three days of the visible extrusion: the spot turned reddish, then bluish, and had to be excised externally to completely remove the silicone in that area. (So consider that, ladies - if your implants rupture, you might be lucky enough to have them removed en bloc through the original incisions, but you risk having other incisions made on your beautiful breasts to get straying silicone cleaned out.)
My rupture process had likely been going on for some time as I had neurological problems for at least 4 years and other less troubling problems dating back to when the implants were a little less than 20 years old. The scar tissue around the implants formed almost immediately - within 90 days my breasts, were significantly hard - my original surgeon blamed me, saying I wasn't rotating them around enough (we now know that's a crock) and I'm surprised I tolerated them for so long. I guess it feels normal to have rocks on your chest after awhile.
Saline implants have other safety concerns, of course, and I realize I'm walking the razor's edge. I pray I get lucky and have nothing more serious in my future than an eventual rupture. I'd rather wrangle with saline than silicone any day, but still cringe when I think about the negative possibilities.There are many women who have experienced severe health problems after implantation with saline, so I hope women considering surgery will look twice as hard and long at the downside than I ever did - or was allowed to - in the early seventies there was little truthful data about the huge variety of problems caused by the presence of liquid silicone inside the human body.
Recently I found that all the old silicone is not gone - my original MRI should have helped the surgeon locate all the stray silicone in my left breast - he and his assistant were extremely compassionate and conscientious during my explantation, but when he tried to cosmetically repair a scar at the top of my breast left from the January surgery just a week ago (June 2007 - all the silicone cysts could not be removed from inside the breast) , liquid silicone oozed out of the new incision. He was horrified and disappointed and so was I.
I shudder to think about all the suffering that toxic silicone implants have caused women of my generation, and the suffering it has caused some of our children and their children. This should not be an issue any more, but since approval of silicone implants in late 2006, there will be another generation of women and children who experience the same pointless problems.
I'd love to have my old, natural breasts back. Don't let this happen to you.
Chino Valley, AZ