Silicone implants, The first thing most of us think about when we hear that is probably breast augmentation or “fake boobs” but they’re actually used in all sorts of procedures like backside augmentation, where a surgeon will make an incision in the vertical butt crease and insert the implant into or above the gluteal muscle. Or abdominal implant surgery for those who want the perfect six-pack without all that hard work in the gym and dieting. But are these procedures safe?
Could a silicone implant kill you?
All surgeons who do these procedures will tell you there are risks involved. In fact, we looked on one website offering cosmetic surgery with silicone implants and it listed several including risks from the anesthesia complications, infection, scarring, bleeding, and then, of course, there is always the risk that the result might not meet the person’s expectations.
Patients might also need to have some fat removed before some of these procedures, especially six-pack surgery, because, a six-pack just wouldn’t look right on some people’s bodies, or maybe that’s the look you’re going for, who are we to judge? None of that sounds like something you want to have happened in any surgery, but has a silicone implant killed someone yet?
Most of the information out there relating to silicone implant surgery nightmares is about breast augmentation. For a long time, The Food and Drug Administration was not entirely certain how safe implants were, and in 1992 released a report stating that there just wasn’t enough information available to say if the implants were safe.
In 2006 the FDA finally approved silicone implants for breast augmentation from two companies, but since then has issued additional warnings about the potential dangers of silicone implants. Those dangers include a link between breast implants and a rare kind of cancer. In fact, on the FDA’s own website you can read, “Individuals with breast implants have a risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma” or BIA-ALCL. The World Health Organization agrees. So, what we need to know is just how often does this happen?
Well, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has attempted to answer that question, but it said it’s not easy to know as gathering all the evidence from all countries around the world is a difficult task. But there certainly have been reported cases. In fact, you can read a report by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and it will tell you about 46 Australian women who were diagnosed with this kind of cancer, three of whom died, and it was believed that their implants were to blame.
The FDA also wrote that “As of September 30, 2018, the FDA had received a total of 660 medical device reports (MDRs) of BIA-ALCL, including the death of nine patients.” It seems many of the cases were women who had what is called textured implants. Unlike other smooth implants, these implants have a rough surface that is supposed to adhere to the body tissue better.
This is a good thing if you don’t want your implants moving around, which can cause the breasts to look uneven or misshapen. But it is these textured implants that have recently caused a lot of concern. As we said, these concerns are fairly new, so we still don’t know exactly what the risk is, but the FDA has written the risk of getting this kind of cancer after getting textured implants is anywhere from 1 in 3,817 to 1 in 30,000, quite the range, but there’s Australian data saying it’s more like 1 in 1,000.
This has led to some countries in Europe banning certain implants, while in the U.S. and Canada the investigations are ongoing. But there’s more for concern. While the majority won’t have any problems with their implants, you don’t have to look hard to find plenty of nightmare stories.
Nightmare Stories of Silicone Breast Implants
In 2019 Business Insider talked about something now called “breast implant illness.” It mentioned a number of women who had the implants and then complained of feeling ill, vomiting, having no energy, losing their sex drive, their eyesight getting worse and suffering inflammation.
Many surgeons question whether breast plant illness exists, but if you go to a Facebook page called ‘Healing breast implant illness’ you will see a group with over 80,000 members. The Business Insider article goes on to say that a lot of women got their implants removed because they felt extremely ill, some for years, with one woman saying she felt like she was dying.
We should say, though, that some of these women had saline implants, which is a silicone shell filled with saline. Still, both surgeries involve silicone being inserted into the breast. CNN tells us that some women are now fighting for surgeons to issue a warning before surgery, saying there is a chance of something called autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome.
One woman told CNN that if a warning is given then at least those that do experience symptoms related to autoimmune issues will be aware of what’s happening and then can have the implants removed. The woman also said that after she got implants she experienced, “a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, brain fog, light-headedness, allergies, premature ovarian failure, and gastrointestinal problems.” She said she was exhausted all the time, suffered from stomach pains, had to keep sitting down from lack of energy and also became allergic to certain foods she had been fine with in the past.
Then there is an infection, and as we said, surgeons don’t deny that this can happen. We found reports of women almost dying due to infections after they had the surgery. Bloomberg wrote, “Leaking implants can cause a variety of illnesses, but women who need them removed face a series of obstacles from getting necessary screenings to negotiating with insurers to cover the procedures.”
You can also find cases of women developing sepsis behind their implant, which could be life-threatening. It’s rare, but we found recent cases both in the UK and in the U.S. of this happening to young women. Both survived, but not without a fright.
List of Complications the FDA says might happen after getting Implants
The FDA said infections only occur in one percent of women who have had breast implants, and those infections can usually be fought off with antibiotics. Then again, the list of complications the FDA says might happen after getting implants is long. These are just some of the possible complications:
- Breast pain
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Shrinking of the skin
- Sometimes bad bruising that requires surgery
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Damage to tissue, swelling
- Dead skin or tissue around the breast
- A tear or hole in the implant’s outer shell
- The implant being seen through the skin
- Rupture of the implant and leaking
- Hard lumps under the skin around the implant
And then you have butt silicone injections, which the New York Times wrote in 2019 led to the death of one woman. The woman had complained about liquid leaking out of her, to which her surgeon said, “Buy some crazy glue and put it on.” Of course, we should mention this surgery was actually illegal. The Times wrote that such a procedure is very dangerous as the injected silicone can move through the veins.
The correct procedure involves using fat to augment the butt, not injecting silicone. But we found many stories of these illegal procedures happening, and it seems butt augmentation is just getting more and more popular these days. Injecting fat into the buttocks can be dangerous, with many people dying from what are called fat embolisms.
We should say that silicone implants are not the same as injecting silicone into the body. The former is a procedure you can get but the latter is something that is basically only done by unlicensed surgeons. The FDA has not approved silicone injections and in fact, gives the stark warning that they could lead to –
Maybe that’s something you should stay away from. And with the actually approved silicone butt implants, you can expect to see a lot of the same warnings we listed for silicone breast implants. And by the way, if you are thinking about getting the perfect six-pack with surgery you don’t necessarily have to get implants. Apparently the look can be achieved just by removing fat and doing something called abdominal etching, which I don’t like the sound of one bit.
It seems the abdominal etching procedure is becoming quite popular, with one Bangkok surgery saying to the press, “We get anywhere from 20 to 30 customers requesting a six-pack every month.” It may not involve silicone being injected into your stomach, but we’re still going to stick with good old fashioned diet and exercise.
After reading this, would you get a cosmetic surgery involving implants? The nightmare cases are rare, but they do exist. Is it worth it? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other post, Will Minecraft Overtake Fortnite? – MHG Vs FBR.