Breast Cancer Implant Information
If you have breast cancer, you may be looking for information on implants used as part of reconstructive surgery. The two most common options are saline-filled implants or silicone gel-filled implants. Saline-filled implants are available for anyone who wants them, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided that breast implants filled with silicone gel may be used only in an FDA-approved clinical trial.
Some women who plan to have a mastectomy decide to have breast reconstruction surgery. Other women prefer to wear a breast form (called a prosthesis). Others decide to do nothing. All of these options have pros and cons. What is right for one woman may not be right for another. What is important to know is that nearly every woman treated for breast cancer has choices.
There are many ways to reconstruct the breast. Some women choose to have implants made of saline or silicone. The safety of silicone breast implants has been under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for several years. If you are thinking about having silicone implants, you may want to talk with your doctor about the FDA findings.
Types of Breast Cancer ImplantsBreast implants are silicone sacs filled with saline (salt water) or silicone gel. The sacs are placed under your skin behind your chest muscle.
Saline-filled breast implants are available for anyone who wants them. However, some scientists are concerned about possible short-term and long-term health problems associated with silicone gel-filled breast implants. The FDA has decided that breast implants filled with silicone gel may be used only in an FDA-approved clinical trial. Your surgeon can determine if you are eligible for this and can make arrangements for you to join the study.