A breast implant is a process used to enlarge the size of a woman's breasts. There are two types of breast implants. They are saline-filled or silicone-gel filled. Women who undergo breast implantation are generally from higher strata of society and who are more sensitive about their appearance and who have experienced teasing due to deficiency in the breast area.
They also would have undergone depression and in many cases psychotherapy too. There is vast improvement in self confidence and self esteem in women who have undergone breast implants.
Silicone implants are made from silicon, which is abundantly available in nature in sand, quartz and rock. As silicon is mixed with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon it turns in to silicone. Silicone comes in different forms. When the molecular weight is low, it is in the form of oil. When the molecular weight is medium, it is in the form of gel. When the molecular weight is high it becomes elastomer and rubber.
Silicone was assumed to be biologically inactive and safe. However, some short term studies reported connective tissue disorders and cancers. This made Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restrict silicone gel breast implants to controlled clinical trials in 1992. Prior to this ban, 90-95 percent of the implants had silicone gel and subsequently 90-95 percent of the implants are saline filled type.
National Institutes of Health undertook a study on the long term health effects of silicone breast implants. The findings from this study did not find any association between breast implants and risk of breast cancer. However women with implants were at increased risk of respiratory and brain cancers. The reasons for this increase are not known. It is also ascertained that it is not directly related to exposure to silicone. FDA has re-approved the silicone implant procedure in Nov 2006 based on the study report from National Institutes of Health.
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