Women who have extracapsular silicone (silicone gel that has migrated outside of the fibrous scar capsule that surrounds a breast implant) are more likely to report a diagnosis of connective tissue disease than women with intact implants, according t

Researchers from the US Food and Drug Administration in Rockville, Maryland, evaluated MRI findings for 344 women who had undergone breast enlargement during 1970-1988. At least one ruptured implant was found in 68.6 per cent of the subjects, and extracapsular leakage was seen in 21.2 per cent. The women, whose average age was 34.1 years when receiving the implants, also answered questions about their health, satisfaction with the implants, symptoms of connective tissue disease and other diagnosed disease.

According to the findings, women with extracapsular silicone gel were, on average, 2.7 times more likely to report a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, mixed connective tissue disease, pulmonary fibrosis, eosinophilic fasciitis or polymyalgia.

The researchers consider it wise for women with silicone gel breast implants to consider regular screening for implant rupture (J Rheumatol, 2001; 28: 996-1003).

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