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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Do my breast implants have a warranty?

"My plastic surgeon told me that my saline implants should last forever," said Krista Schell.

Krista, age 29, lives in Thornton, Colorado, and works for the state. She had breast enhancement surgery in 2003 by a California doctor. The same doctor performed a second operation in April to replace a deflated saline implant that had collapsed and made her left breast look "hollow." Her implants were still under warranty. In November, she had a third operation, by a Denver surgeon, who removed both implants and extensive scar tissue. The implants had also caused rippling, a lump around one nipple, and pain. "If you look at the negatives, you would talk yourself out of getting implants," she said.

About a third of patients had a second operation within four years of their initial surgery, according to a study by Allergan, a maker of breast implants.

"With breast implants, informed consent is much more fuzzy because each doctor has his own perspective on how long they last, making it difficult for patients to realistically calculate the risks and benefits," said Dr. Eugene Goldberg, a biomaterials professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He teaches a class in which he uses breast implants as a case study of a badly engineered medical device.

Dr. Linda Huang, a plastic surgeon in Denver, tells patients their implants should be removed after ten to 15 years. She has removed implants from more than 1,000 patients.

Advice to women considering breast implants: Consider that you may well need more operations than the initial implant surgery itself.

Browse for related stories in the index at the very bottom of this page.

Thanks to Natasha Singer for the source article in today's New York Times.

2 comments:

Gretchen said...

i got sick from implants too. not sure how to post so i am leaving a comment. check out www.myimplantstory.com - thanks.

Beth Taylor said...

I became totally disabled from my saline breast implants. I had them for 8years and was completely disabled after just 5 years. I spent the next 3 years going from doctor to doctor and being diagnosed with disorders of which I had never heard of before. Luckily, I came across a site that gave me the info I needed and that was that my saline implants were the cause of my very severe illness. I immediately had the implants removed and started noticing an improvement in my health.

You can read my full story at www.toxicbreastimplants.org

Beth Taylor