Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 14th 2016 Contents It may affect your lymph nodes, which
are glands under the arm, and cause them
to become enlarged. This is often detected
when you see your doctor. They are often
palpable like little lumps or they show up
on ultrasound with a snow-storm appear-
Free flowing silicone in the body does
not cause cancer however, it is uncomfort-
able and can incite reactions that can dis-
figure the breast, hence it is usually rec-
ommended to replace these implants.
High quality implants carry a very low
rate of leak. I recommend to all my patients
on whom I perform cosmetic or reconstruc-
tive implant based surgery to have it checked
annually, or I may often scan them within
the first three years.
Thereafter, it is safe to not do any active
Most modern implants do not require a
shelf life and therefore do not require routine
exchange after ten to 15 years and can last
a lifetime. I would advise that you routinely
check with your plastic or breast surgeon
when you have had these devices inserted.
An important point to note is that
implants do not raise your risk of developing
breast cancer nor does it hide breast cancer
if it develops.
You are also able to do a thorough breast
examination, mammography and ultrasound
without any hindrance from these devices.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt February 14, 2016
APPLICATIONS CLOSE: March 16, 2016
DR RAJENDRA S RAMPAUL
Breast implants are becoming very popular in
the cosmetic world and have been around for over
20 years. It is well known that a lot of women in
Latin America and North America seek to have cos-
It is also well known to the general public that
implants are an instrumental part of breast recon-
struction following breast cancer surgery, and it allows
a women to retain her breast form after operations
like mastectomy (removal of the entire breast).
Cosmetic implants and reconstructive implants
are usually the same and are made of a silicone shell
with liquid silicone inside. (The use of saline is on
Many readers will be aware of the recent scandal
coming out of PIP (France) implants where industrial
grade silicone was used within the implant exposing
the patient to the potential risk of having a leak
industrial grade silicone within their body.
This is pretty much the stuff that is used in cars,
motor oils, and sealing glass windows. That s scary
stuff, no doubt. However, it should be appreciated
that high quality medical silicone is very different
It is difficult to understand why the manufacturers
in France chose to break all the regulatory guidelines
and seek to use a much cheaper grade. However,
there has been a worldwide recall of these types of
Not surprisingly, many Latin American countries
such as Venezuela have found themselves in a difficult
position where almost all plastic surgeons who have
exclusively used PIP implants due to their low cost
now have to face the embarrassing situation of telling
patients they have to return for further replacement
surgery with a better grade of implant.
There are very robust and safe implants and these
usually carry the CE mark (Europe) or the FDA (US)
approvals. These are safe within the body and have
been shown to be without side effects even if there
is a leak.
However, it does bring us to the very question that
we are trying to explore in this article which is what
happens if there is a leak or ruptured implant.
In general, two things tend to happen---one is that
the leak is contained by a capsule that forms around
the body and there is no general seepage of the liquid
silicone into the body.
Sometimes that liquid silicone can seep into the
body but often will cause no harm.
Can my breast implants leak?
High quality implants carry a
very low rate of leak. I
recommend to all my patients
on whom I perform
cosmetic or reconstructive
implant based surgery to
have them checked
annually, or I may
DR RAJENDRA S RAMPAUL
Adam Smith Square,
Woodbrook • 627-1010
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