For Health Professionals

As a health professional, you may have heard a great deal about breast implants but the information may have been contradictory or questionable. To help you cut through the hype on all sides of this issue, this section provides summaries of research published in medical journals and other credible sources. Almost all the articles we have selected are written by experts who do not receive funding from implant companies or have financial ties to breast implants.

Breast Implants, Self-Esteem, Quality of Life, and the Risk of Suicide
This summary explains the question: Do implants increase the risk of suicide or do pre-existing mental health problems increase the likelihood of undergoing breast implant surgery and also increase suicide risk? The full article was published in Women’s Health Issues in April 2016.

Public Health Implications of Differences in US and European Union Regulatory Policies for Breast Implants
This article explains why there was a massive recall of PIP breast implants in Europe but not in the U.S., and explains the strengths and weaknesses of the standards for allowing breast implants on the market in different countries. It was published in Reproductive Health Matters in December, 2012.

Reasonably Safe? Breast Implants and Informed Consent
This article summarizes the latest research on what is known and not known, and what patients need to know. It was published in Reproductive Health Matters in May 2010.

Adolescents, Celebrity Worship, and Cosmetic Surgery
This study shows that media portrayals of celebrities influence how adolescents feel about their looks and influence their decisions to undergo cosmetic surgery. It was published in Journal of Adolescent Health in November 2011.

Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery: Focus on Breast Augmentation and Liposuction
This article gives physicians the information they need to make a decision about breast augmentation and liposuction for adolescents. It was published in Journal of Adolescent Health in October 2008.

What Do Women Need to Know and When Do They Need to Know It?
This summary of what women need to know before deciding whether to get breast implants was written by former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the director of FDA’s Office of Women’s Health. It was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in June 2008. It is not out of date.

Reconstructive Breast Implantation After Mastectomy
This brief article points out that a medical journal about breast implant surgery after mastectomy was misleading. It was published in Archives of Surgery.

Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery
March, 2005

Safety and Benefits of Mentor Silicone Breast Implants From the April 2005 FDA Analysis and Meeting
This article describes the risks and benefits of Mentor silicone breast implants, based on 3-year studies provided to the FDA.

Symptoms and Complications from Inamed (Allergan) Silicone Gel Breast Implants
This article describes the risks and benefits of Allergan silicone breast implants, based on 3-year studies provided to the FDA.

Breast Implants and Mammography: What we Know and What we Don’t Know PDF version
Experts agree that breast implants interfere with mammography. This article explains why and what you can do about it.

Health Complications from Breast Implant Surgery: A Canadian Study with Implications for the U.S.
This study shows the medical problems of women with breast implants, and was conducted by the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: The Silicone Breast Implant Controversy
This article explains why breast implants can cause joint pain and other serious health problems. It was published Journal of Rheumatology.

Silicon, Silicone, Breastfeeding, and Breast Implants
This short article explains that we still don’t know the impact of breast implants on the safety of breast milk. It was published in Pediatrics.

The European Perspective: Do Silicone Breast Implants Cause Disease?
This summary of European studies of breast implants explains why you can’t believe everything you read in medical journals.

Are Breast Implants Safe?
This summary of what is known and not known about the safety of breast implants was published in Medscape General Medicine and Plastic Surgery Nursing.

Fibromyalgia and Ruptured Silicone Gel Breast Implants
This summary of a study by scientists at the FDA explains that their research found that women with ruptured breast implants are more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia and several other diseases. It was published in FDA Consumer Magazine.

Government Studies Link Breast Implants to Cancer, Lung Diseases, and Suicide
This is a summary of two articles that were written by scientists at the NIH and FDA.

Higher Rates of Lung, Brain Cancers In Patients With Breast Implants
This article summarizes research showing that women with breast implants are more likely to develop lung cancer or brain cancer than women without breast implants. It was published in Oncology Spectrums.

Do Breast Implants Cause Disease?
This article explains why the meta-analysis of studies of breast implant safety, often used as the reason why there is no reason to be concerned about breast implants, was fundamentally flawed.

Summary of Studies of Saline and Connective Tissue Diseases
February, 2000.

Cancer risk at sites other than the breast following augmentation mammoplasty.
This is the abstract for the article by NIH and FDA researchers that found that women with breast implants are more likely to develop lung cancer or brain cancer than women without breast implants. It was published in Annals of Epidemiology.

Study of Silicone Gel Breast Implant Rupture, Extracapsular Silicone, and Health Status in a Population of Women
This is the link to the article by NIH and FDA researchers that found that women with leaking silicone gel breast implants are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than women with breast implants that are not leaking. It was published in Journal of Rheumatology.

Prevalence of Rupture of Silicone Gel Breast Implants Revealed on MR Imaging in a Population of Women in Birmingham, Alabama
This is the abstract for the article by FDA researchers and medical school faculty that found that many women with silicone gel breast implants are unaware that their implants are ruptured or leaking, and that MRIs are needed to diagnose rupture and leaking. It was published in American Journal of Roentgenology.

Study of Rupture of Silicone Gel-filled Breast Implants (MRI Component)
Sixth World Biomaterials Conference, May 2000

Study of Re-operations and Self-Reported Silicone-Gel Breast Implant Rupture (Interview Component)
Sixth World Biomaterials Conference, May 2000

What Does the Institute of Medicine Report Say About Breast Implants?
This article summarizes the findings of the Institute of Medicine report about the safety of breast implants, which has frequently been misquoted and misunderstood.