The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will begin examining the latest claims advanced by women that their breast implants made them ill. The renewed interest in exploring the connection between breast implantation procedures and illness stems from thousands of reports from women who suffer from chronic fatigue, joint and bone pain, as well as other physical ailments that only appeared after the breast implantation surgery. The New York Times reports that the FDA’s promise to re-examine the issue gives new hope to women dismissed as neurotic, hypochondriacs, or looking to get easy money from a lawsuit.
Breast implant manufacturers and plastic surgeons argue that women who have breast augmentation surgery or breast reconstructive surgery and receive silicone implants are at no elevated risk for falling ill. Notwithstanding, the FDA and independent researchers want to scrutinize the issue more closely to determine if there is a link between silicone breast implants and diminished health for implant recipients. The FDA could radically alter the industry if the agency finds a link between silicone breast implants and physical problems arising after the surgery.
The FDA is taking steps to protect women’s health. Recently, the FDA announced that two breast implant manufacturers failed to conduct long-term health studies of women with silicone breast implants. The FDA could block the sale of breast implants by the offending companies until the mandated studies are complete.
The issue is vital to millions of women in the U.S. The FDA is concerned that silicone breast implants may cause inflammation, which can make a person ill. One anomaly that requires additional research may be found in women who have silicone breast implants and have developed a rare cancer of the autoimmune system. According to the FDA, 457 women are currently battling Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (also known as BIA-ALCL), which is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The FDA will also focus on illness related to connective tissue such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, among others at an upcoming conference with medical researchers and industry leaders.
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