Pregnancy and silicone breast implants

Pregnancy and silicone breast implants

12th Jan 2017

Breast augmentation is a common procedure, and these days silicone implants have become the implant of choice for many patients. There has always been concern about breast implants causing health issues due to the past history of breast implants. One of the most common questions I get is if silicone breast implants can have a negative effect on a baby. It has been suggested that children born to, and breastfed by, mothers with silicone breast implants might be adversely affected by transmammary or transplacental delivery of silicone during either breastfeeding or pregnancy.

Silicone is an inert material. It is commonly found in many different products, and it does not create abnormal reactions if it is inserted in the body. There is little evidence of any elevation of blood or serum silicon or silicone concentrations in women with silicone breast implants. I am not aware of any studies of reproductive or teratologic effects of silicone in humans.

But what about silicone diffusing through the milk ducts and entering the breast milk? The current evidence does not support diffusion or transport of silicone gel across membranes that will lead to silicone in the breast milk. Measurement of silicon or silicone concentrations in the breast milk of women with implants has provided some insights into whether silicone reaches breast milk by other means. Studies have shown that the concentrations of silicone in breast milk in patients with and without breast implants are statistically not significant.

Yes, some patients might develop capsular contracture, and yes, the body will always create a scar around the implant, but that is about it; the silicone itself is not toxic. It is well known that silicone molecules can cross the membrane of the silicone implant. The original implants had more of what is called silicone bleed, which resulted in higher rates of complications like capsular contracture. Today, the implants are more cohesive and there is less silicone bleed, minimizing complications. Silicone bleed is not going to cause any harm to a baby. Silicone implants are very safe. Nevertheless, if you are pregnant, you need to recognize that your breasts are going to change and you might need additional surgeries in the future to replace the implants or lift the breasts, among other things. Pregnancy can affect the shape of your breasts, but the implants will not affect the baby.

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