Posted by on February 23, 2013 - 12:49pm

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month approved the Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Gel Filled Breast Implant to increase breast size (augmentation) in women at least 22 years old and to rebuild breast tissue (reconstruction) in women of any age. Natrelle 410 implants are manufactured by Allergan, Inc.

The silicone gel in the Natrelle 410 implant contains more cross-linking compared to the silicone gel used in Allergan’s previously approved Natrelle implant. This increased cross-linking results in a silicone gel that’s firmer. Cross-linking refers to the bonds that link one silicone chain to another. The clinical significance of this type of silicone gel is not known.

If you are considering breast implants, it's important to learn all the facts and options. Over the years there has been a lot of controversy over silicone implants but this has also led to better products than were available 20 years ago.   To learn more, visit HERE.

Posted by on June 22, 2011 - 9:31am

When the Food and Drug Administration allowed silicone gel-filled breast implants back on the market in November 2006, the agency required the manufacturers to conduct follow-up studies to learn more about the long-term performance and safety of the devices. on June 22, 2011, the FDA released a report that includes preliminary safety data from these studies, as well as other safety information from recent scientific publications and adverse events reported to FDA.

FDA approved silicone gel-filled breast implants for increasing breast size (augmentation) in women age 22 or older and for reconstruction (after breast cancer surgery or other medical issues) in all women. They are also approved for revision surgeries, which correct or improve the result of an original augmentation or reconstruction surgery.

Almost five years later, FDA’s report continues to support the safety and effectiveness of these implants when used as intended, but states that women should fully understand the risks before considering getting them.

  • Breast implants are not lifetime devices. The longer a woman has them, the more likely she is to have complications and need to have the implants removed or replaced. Women with breast implants will need to monitor their breasts for the rest of their lives.
  • The most frequently observed complications and adverse outcomes are tightening of the area around the implant (capsular contracture), additional surgeries, and implant removal. Other complications include a tear or hole in the outer shell (implant rupture), wrinkling, uneven appearance (asymmetry), scarring, pain, and infection.

Studies to date do not indicate that silicone gel-filled breast implants cause breast cancer, reproductive problems, or connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, no study has been large enough or long enough to completely rule out these and other rare complications.   FDA is working with the two manufacturers who make silicone gel-filled breast implants, Allergan and Mentor, to address the challenges in collecting follow-up data on the women who have received these implants.

“It is important that women with breast implants who experience any symptoms see their health care providers,” says Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Women who have enrolled in clinical studies should continue to participate so that we can better understand the long-term performance of these implants and identify any potential problems.”

FDA also provided other information  on both silicone gel-filled and saline-filled breast implants:

  • A redesigned website on breast implants
  • A booklet, “Breast Implants: Local Complications and Adverse Outcomes”, which highlights the most common problems that occur with breast implants and things to consider before having breast implant surgery.
  • A handout with questions to ask your surgeon before getting breast implants

FDA recommends that women with silicone gel-filled breast implants do the following:

Follow up. Continue to routinely follow up with your health care provider. Get routine MRIs to detect a rupture that you may not be aware of (silent rupture).  FDA recommends that women with silicone gel-filled breast implants get screenings for silent ruptures three years after they get implants and every two years after that.
Be aware. Breast implants are not lifetime devices. The longer you have breast implants, the more likely you are to have complications. One in 5 patients who received implants for breast augmentation will need them removed within 10 years of implantation. For patients who received implants for breast reconstruction, as many as 1 in 2 will require removal within 10 years of implantation.
Pay attention to changes. Notify your health care provider if you develop any unusual signs or symptoms. Report any serious side effects to the breast implant manufacturer and MedWatch, FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program. Report online at or by calling 800-332-1088.
Stay in touch. If you’re enrolled in a manufacturer-sponsored study, continue to participate. These studies are the best way to collect information about the long-term rates of complications.

Posted by on January 27, 2011 - 5:18pm

After an intensive review of known cases of a rare form of cancer in breast implant recipients, the Food and Drug Administration says women with implants may have a very small, but increased risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL.

FDA scientists reached that conclusion after examining scientific literature that focused on cases of ALCL in 34 women with breast implants, as well as information from agency reports, international regulatory agencies, scientific experts, and breast implant manufacturers.

But with an estimated five to 10 million breast implant recipients worldwide, agency experts say the known ALCL cases are too few to say conclusively that breast implants cause the disease. FDA believes there are about 60 of these ALCL cases worldwide, though that number is difficult to verify because not all of them were chronicled in scientific publications and some reports may have been duplicated.

In an effort to gather more information, FDA and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are establishing a registry of ALCL patients who have breast implants. FDA scientists hope the registry yields enough information to better understand what the risks for developing ALCL are for women with breast implants.

The Institute for Women's Health Research at Northwestern University encourages women to participate in the registry that is being set up so that researchers will be able to confirm whether there is a statistically significant risk.  More studies are needed and this registry will provide a tool that will be very valuable.   To read the full FDA advisory, click HERE.