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SILICONE BREAST IMPLANTS: THE FDA BANS THEIR USE. NOW WHAT?

 SILICONE BREAST IMPLANTS: THE FDA BANS THEIR USE. NOW WHAT?
 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today decided to temporarily remove from sale silicone breast implants used to augment and reconstruct breast tissue, a Philadelphia area plastic surgeon said the public need not be alarmed.
 "Women who have silicone breast implants," said Mark P. Solomon, M.D., F.A.C.S., chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and an active member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons who has also performed many implant operations, "should not worry. The FDA does not recommend removal, even though they have banned future use of silicone implants, but the implant should be regularly checked by their physician."
 For those women still interested in breast implantation, Solomon said there are alternatives to the silicone gel implant. "There are," he said, "saline or salt water implants in which any fluid leakage would be easily absorbed into the body and pose no intrinsic threat. And, for some women, there is also the possibility of reconstruction or augmentation using their own body tissue."
 Solomon also offered reassurance to those women who currently have silicone gel implants. "From my own experience and the available data," he said, "the most common concern regarding implants has been scar tissue formation which causes the breasts to harden. As with any prosthetic, the body and the implant interact, over time. But in those implants I have personally performed, scar tissue has formed and hardening occurred in only 2 percent of all cases. None have leaked and, as a result, there has been no concern about the implant contents 'traveling' to another part of the body.
 "In addition, there is no known increased risk in the incidence of breast cancer due to implants," Solomon continued. "Since breast cancer strikes one in nine women, the reality is that one in nine women who have implants are just as likely to get breast cancer as those without implants. In my experience and in the literature, there is also no evidence that implants are associated with collagen vascular diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis."
 Finally, the plastic surgeon concluded, "As for interfering with tumor detection, the silicone implants can make it difficult to see or feel the breast tissue behind the implant, but there are simple ways to overcome this problem. If the patient informs the technician that an implant is in place, additional pictures at varying angles can be taken. The MRI and ultrasound diagnostic procedures have also helped in the identification of any potential tumor sites."
 For more information about the alternative methods of breast augmentation and reconstruction, or the continued safety of silicone gel implants, call Solomon at 215-790-9100.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/6/92
 /CONTACT: Amy Rabner of Toplin & Associates, 215-886-4644/


MK-KA -- PH017 -- 6909 01/06/92 12:25 EST
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Date:Jan 6, 1992
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