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The Health Impacts of Breast Implants

Melissa Gilbert recently appeared on the Dr. Oz show discussing her breast enhancement surgeries, specifically the replacement and revisions she experienced. At one time her breasts were a 34 EE which eventually led to a breast lift and exchange for smaller implants. Ms. Gilbert said she felt compelled to have plastic surgery to advance in her profession. In time she had the implants removed altogether so she could “be there for her grandchildren.” Her message to the audience: “…having implants…something foreign in my body, was not a healthy decision.” Also that the one thing the medical community keeps from patients is “…that breast implants will not last forever in your body…They have to be replaced.”

Breast augmentation expert Dr. Tracy Pfeifer, and clinical investigator for the FDA responds:
“Breast implants do not impose a health risk. Many studies conducted by both plastic surgeons and others in the medical community have shown both silicone and saline implants to be perfectly safe. It is misleading to say that breast implants always need to be removed. While some revisions or removals might be necessary, they are not inevitable. In the case of Melissa Gilbert her 34EE breasts clearly point to over-sized implants which were not appropriate for her frame, vs. a more proportionate size. No woman should undergo elective surgery because of outside pressure including a profession, a spouse or being under the assumption it will change her life. It is a personal decision that enhances not only one’s body image, but a woman’s confidence, self-esteem and overall well-being. Melissa Gilbert’s experience points to the importance of choosing one’s surgeon wisely and making the decision to have surgery for the right reasons. The age of oversized implants has thankfully come and gone. Appropriated sized implants that are in proportion can transform a woman and enhance her confidence and self-esteem. That is the message the audience should have received.”

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