Building Better Breasts

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“Back in the Seventies and Eighties, many breast-reconstruction surgeons thought implants would last indefinitely. Now we know otherwise. Some 10-50 percent of silicone implants will rupture within 20 years, according to Richard Greco, M.D., chairman of public education for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (For saline, the rate is 5 percent over three years and roughly 1 percent each year thereafter.) … Silicone implants were removed from the market in 1992, when they were blamed for a host of body-wide medical problems (though several studies have since disputed this connection). However, they are still available to reconstruction patients who agree to participate in an FDA-approved research trial. Though silicone carries a higher risk for capsular contracture, many surgeons endorse them. ‘The silicone implants manufactured today are much more durable,’ says Shermak. ‘Silicone looks and feels more natural than saline,’ says Greco.”