Are Connective Tissue Disease and Ruptured Silicone Breast Implants Linked

I developed Connective Tissue Disease from a silicone breast implant rupture and have had it for several years. If I have my implants removed, will the disease get better?

Some women have experienced adverse effects from ruptured silicone breast implants and subsequently had them removed. The FDA has approved two different silicone implants, but only after battling with implant manufacturers who resisted long-term studies of this device, which calls into question its safety. Yet there is currently no evidence-based research that shows a link between the device and connective tissue disease.  

However, there has yet to be a study large enough or long enough to rule out or prove this risk definitively. What we do know is that at least 20 percent of women with silicone breast implants will have to have them removed or replaced within 8 to 10 years due to complications. However, there is no evidence to prove that removal reverses connective tissue disease, it just corrects the pain and discomfort caused by the ruptured implant.

Currently, the National Women’s Health Network does not believe that silicone breast implants have been proven safe for long-term use. While we can’t make any scientific claims linking the device to autoimmune diseases, more women are coming forward with personal stories about their battle with autoimmune diseases after getting silicone breast implants and their concerns must be heard. Regardless, a ruptured implant should be removed, so be sure to speak with your doctor on what steps to take next. Also, if you would like to report your experience with this device to the FDA, you can use the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System.

FDA – Detailed risks of breast implants

The New England Journal of Medicine – Assessment of link between silicone implants and connective tissue disease

National Center for Biotechnology Information – Assessment of link between silicone implants and connective tissue disease

 

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