Nine years ago today, October 29, my badly ruptured silicone breast implants were removed. I’ve been celebrating every day since (I know I say that every year, but its true).
That said, I still live with the harm of migrated silicone.
Silicone migration is a key, as yet unresolved issue for me in terms of advocacy, but IF YOU ONLY GET ONE TAKE-AWAY from my 9th Explantaversary blog post, let it be that after 60 years there is STILL NO LONG TERM SAFFEY DATA for BREAST IMPLANTS.
Anyone who has, has had, or ever will have breast implants is a ‘for profit’ human guinea pig. PERIOD.
MAKE NO MISTAKE. It started as an EXPERIMENT and 60 years later it is STILL an EXPERIMENT. Women as human guinea pigs.
SOME CURRENT INDUSTRY CLAIMS:
They don’t know the long term impact of migrated silicone to health. They don’t know what causes BIA-ALCL and other implant caused cancers, or who will develop them. They don’t know who will develop BII, or what causes it. Many plastic surgeons still don’t believe BII is real.
And FYI – Though not FDA approved for use in breasts, and the potential consequences to health are unknown, plastic surgeons have brazenly been using Alloderm and other surgical mesh in breast surgeries, in ‘off label’ use for years. Often without patient awareness or consent. The FDA did nothing to stop them. Note: FDA has just cleared a pathway for the experimental use of the devices in reconstruction surgery.
BREAST IMPLANTS EVOLUTION – NEW doesn’t mean ‘safer’
Some things have changed, ie. shell thickness, barrier layer, surface textures, gel cohesiveness, and so on. Each ‘tweak’ spun as being a ‘fix’ for a particular problem has often proven to be ineffectual and has created new issues, including cancers. Women have died as a result. Countless women live with the consequence of having ‘new and improved’ breast implants, including having migrated silicone irretrievably within them.
I am in the ‘migrated silicone club’. Most of us in this demographic had no idea that silicone migration was even possible. We weren’t warned it could happen. Even though its now acknowledged as a possible harm from implants the acknowledgment is kind of insulting because what they’re really saying is ‘we know it happens, and we’re now telling you it happens – but we’re going to keep harming women anyway’. To add insult to injury they let us die, without accountability.
Regulatory bodies continue licensing breast implants that bleed and can leak silicone, while letting manufacturers get away with claiming the ‘long term’ impact to health remains unknown‘ (which also begs the question ‘what do they believe the ‘short term’ consequences of migrated silicone to be?’).
World regulators must stop turning a blind eye to migrated silicone.
Injecting silicone into the body is BANNED yet, silicone migrating from implants is not. The ONLY difference is the delivery system – a syringe vs leaking breast implant. One, regulators have taken regulatory action on and the other, continue licensing and giving their stamp of approval.
How low is the bar for protecting women’s health?
There is no comparative experiment using MEN as HUMAN GUNEA PIGS on such a large scale, over so many decades!
When is ENOUGH, ENOUGH? IMHO, it’s decades past ENOUGH.
My 9th Explantaversary memes-fest below:
MAKE THEM SAY IT OUT LOUD
I digress – I know I’m repeating myself here, however it’s a critical point that I can’t emphasize strongly enough. For sixty years industry has gotten away with harming women through migrated silicone, still claiming the long term impact of migrated silicone on health is unknown. And regulators turn a blind eye.
Let that sink in .. SIXTY YEARS.
Let that sink in even deeper .. SIXTY YEARS!!
I can’t think of an instance where WE could get away with causing such catastrophic harm, to so many, over six decades and NOT BE IN JAIL.
The very regulatory bodies whose role ‘should be’ to protect consumer safety are ‘throwing consumers under the bus’ to do the bidding of the breast implants industry. Regulators protect the interests of manufacturers vs consumers.
We must demand accountability from regulators for their position of avoidance and inaction on silicone migration. Force their hand, so to speak, through regulatory pressure. I encourage you, in fact I implore you, to keep asking your country’s regulator to explain WHY they’re OK with manufacturers claiming the long term impact of migrated silicone remains unknown, when they KNOW women are being permanently harmed as a result of migrated silicone. And while you’re at it, ask them what they believe the short term impact of migrated silicone is, and why they’re ok with it. Demand to know WHY they continue licensing breast implants while manufacturers have failed to provide imperative safety data that is at the very crux of both silicone and saline filled breast implants.