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Before Deciding on Breast Implants, Consider FDA Precautions
Date:2/27/2013

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- If you're thinking about getting breast implants, there are some things you need to know before you make your decision, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In the United States, two types of breast implants are approved for sale: saline-filled implants (those filled with a saltwater solution) and silicone gel-filled implants. Both have a silicone outer shell and vary in size, shell thickness and shape. The implants are used for increasing breast size, for reconstruction after breast cancer surgery or injury, and to correct developmental defects.

Women need to understand that breast implants are not lifetime devices. The longer a woman has breast implants, the greater the chances that she will develop complications, some of which will require surgery, according to the FDA.

"The life of these devices varies according to the individual," Gretchen Burns, a nurse consultant at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in an FDA news release. "All women with implants will face additional surgeries -- no one can tell them when."

A few women have kept their original implants for 20 to 30 years, but "that is not the common experience," Burns said.

Women considering breast implants need to thoroughly research each type of implant to learn about their characteristics, the agency said. This information can be found in the Summary of Safety and Effectiveness Data label section for each implant. These summaries provide information about the use, risks, warnings, precautions and studies associated with FDA approval of each implant.

Ask your surgeon for the most recent version of the labeling of a breast implant. You should have at least one to two weeks to review the information before making a decision, the FDA said. In some cases, however, surgery may need to be performed sooner.

Ask surgeons about their experience with implants, the surge
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Before Deciding on Breast Implants, Consider FDA Precautions
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