Breast implants are more dangerous than previously suspected, new evidence suggests. Researchers have found the incidence of implant failure is extremely high and increases as the implants age.
Silicone gel implant failure includes contraction, rupture, leaking, visible tears and complete breakdown.
The new research concludes that 63.5 per cent of implants or nearly two thirds that are in the breast for between one and 25 years will rupture or leak.
Almost all patients could realistically expect to have both implants in tact after eight years, half after 12 years, and very few only 5 per cent to have implants still in place after 20 years.
As a result, researchers from the US Food and Drug Administration now recommend implant removal within eight years.
The side effects reported by women include discomfort and anxiety related to the implant and connective tissue disease after silicone oil injections. Silicone migration to lymph nodes has also been detected.
The study group from the FDA and the University of Maryland School of Medicine found these women developed a form of sclerosis characterised by chronic fatigue and cognitive dysfunction (Lancet; 1997; 350: 1531-37).