Allergic reactions seem to be on the rise, to everything from peanuts to latex. But could your breast implants trigger allergies? Find out here.
Breast implants add a foreign object—a silicone capsule filled with silicone or saline solution—to your body. So it’s no wonder that so many people worry that their breast implants may cause a serious allergic reaction. The materials used to create breast implants, medical-grade silicone and saline, very rarely provoke an allergic reaction—silicone allergies in particular are extremely rare. And silicone is a chemical that’s present naturally in so many things we use and consume every day—beauty products, gum, and even food.
However, there have been a few reported cases of people who have silicone allergies, and if you are worried that you have the potential for an allergic reaction to the silicone used in your implants, you may want to consider having yourself tested for allergies to silicone prior to getting breast implants. That could help ease your mind that the silicone breast implants will not be dangerous to your health—or steer you away from the breast implants altogether, as silicone is present in nearly all breast implants available on the market.
More common, however, would be an allergic reaction to the other materials that will be used during your breast implant surgery—the latex gloves used by the surgeon and surgical staff, the sutures and dressings they use to close up and protect the wounds, or the anesthetics and pain medications administered to you. If you suspect that you might have allergies to latex, or have had any adverse reactions to medications in the past, be sure to alert your plastic surgeon so he can take precautions (such as using non-latex gloves) to help keep you safe and avoid a potentially dangerous allergic reaction. Again, if you suspect allergies to any chemicals or materials that might be used during your procedure, ask for an allergy test before you receive the surgery to avoid a potentially life-threatening reaction when you’re receiving your breast implants.
There have been some concerns raised about immunological reactions, including autoimmune diseases like allergies and arthritis to breast implants—especially implants that rupture and leak silicone into the body. But several studies have been done to date to determine whether breast implants can provoke allergies or rheumatoid arthritis in people, and none of the studies have shown any link between breast implants and these types of autoimmune diseases and allergic reactions.
Bottom line? Silicone breast implants will not cause allergic reactions in the vast majority of people. However if you suspect that you might have an allergy to silicone or another component of the surgery, such as latex gloves or anesthesia, consider getting an allergy test before your breast implant surgery takes place so that you can have peace of mind.