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PLASTIC SURGEONS VOICE CONCERNS ABOUT STUDY EXAMINING CHILDREN BREAST-FED BY MOTHERS WITH IMPLANTS

 ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons is concerned about results from a New York study, to be published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, that maintains an apparent link between breast feeding by mothers with silicone breast implants and their children's esophageal problems.
 "The study is extremely preliminary, involving only 11 children," said Dr. Elvin Zook, president of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. "However, such a report must be given careful scrutiny. Further research needs to be conducted to learn how, if at all, silicone could affect children who have been breast-fed by mothers with breast implants."
 The researchers studied 11 children whose mothers had silicone breast implants. Eight of the children were breast-fed, and six of the eight apparently had abnormalities in their esophaguses. The researchers have said that the results need to be confirmed by larger studies before any conclusions can be drawn, and that it is unclear whether the problems are attributable specifically to breast implants.
 In an editorial accompanying the study, pediatrician Jonathan Flick, M.D., notes that silicone is present not only in breast implants, but in many substances that infants are commonly exposed to, including bottle nipples and pacifiers. It also appears in common remedies such as Mylicon, an over-the-counter medication with FDA approval for treating infant gas, and it is used to coat head shunts and syringes used for immunization.
 Dr. Flick conveyed the opinion that because this report must first be confirmed with other studies, and because the value of breast-feeding to both mother and child has been fully established, the benefits of breast-feeding outweigh the possible risks.
 The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons represents 97 percent of all physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Its mission is to promote optimal care for plastic surgery patients through education, research, and the promotion of high professional standards.
 -0- 1/18/94
 /CONTACT: Laura Kopulos Asplund, 708-228-9900, Ext. 349, for ASPRS/


CO: The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons ST: Illinois IN: HEA SU:

TM -- NY107 -- 2929 01/18/94 16:28 EST
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Date:Jan 18, 1994
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