In the early 1980’s breast implants began gaining popularity, but they have been on the market since the early 1960’s. They were invented by plastic surgeons Cronin and Gerow. Dow Corning began manufacturing them commercially in 1962. Today over two million women have undergone breast augmentation surgery. There are many negative consequences that may arise from the surgery, and there is always the risk of infection or rupture. When beginning my research on the subject I assumed there would be a plethora of information. I was shocked to find out that there wasn’t. Silicone breast implants have been around for 40 years and there have been very few studies on their consequences, and possible effects on a woman’s body. The Food and Drug Administration has never approved the use of silicone implants. It is a surprising fact, because silicone implants are still being used today, but only by women who agree to be in a study of their safety. The politics surrounding breast augmentation are sketchy for lack of a better word. They have been promoted as being safe, yet their safety has never been fully questioned. While looking online, I found a variety of websites on the subject. There were many websites from the plastic surgery industry promoting breast implants as being safe. Then there were the websites like http://www.siliconeholocaust.org, this was by far the most disturbing site I have ever seen. There were dozens of pictures of real women who had their lives ruined by breast implants. If these, and other women had the little information that is available on the subject, they may have opted not to have the surgery because of the unnecessary consequences they now suffer.
Every woman has her own reasons behind her decision to get breast implants. Some women have undergone mastectomies, and get breast implants in order to feel “normal” again. According to the National Women’s Health Network (http://www.womenshealthnetwork.org) women who have lumpectomies have the same survival rate of women who have mastectomies as a result of breast cancer. They concluded that up to 40 percent of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer underwent unnecessary mastectomies. These mastectomies, whether necessary or not may lead to women to undergo breast augmentation surgery.
Other women have always felt that their breasts were too small, and out of proportion ...
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...o have had breast implants often cannot get health insurance because they have an increased risk of illness. If a woman is able to obtain health insurance she may have to pay a higher premium because of her past plastic surgery history.
After learning of the negative consequences that may, and probably will arise from breast implants, it is surprising that so many women are still getting them. It is major surgery and the benefits of having larger breast is not worth the unnecessary chance of death or serious pain for life. More work needs to be done on the study of breast implants because women need to know what they are putting in their bodies. Breast implant manufacturers need to be held responsible, and plastic surgeon should be required to make sure every woman is fully aware of all the possible side effects before she has any type of surgery done.
Brown University, Department of Biology and Medicine. 14 Feb. 2003 .
Darrick Antell Homepage. 15 Feb. 2003 .
Department of Health. 15 Feb. 2003 .
National Center For Policy (CPR) For Women & Families. 18 Nov. 2002 .
National Women’s Health Network. 3 Mar. 2003 .
Silicone Gel Breast Implants. 14 Feb. 2003 .
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