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Breast implant

In cosmetic surgery, breast implants are used to increase the size of a woman's breasts or to reconstruct the breast (for example, after a mastectomy). There are two main types of breast implants:

  • Saline-filled which have an external silicone shell and are filled with sterile saline[?] liquid.
  • Silicone gel-filled which have an external silicone shell and are filled with silicone gel.

The health hazards of breast implants have been debated greatly in recent years. Some people believe that breast implants cause such illnesses as autoimmune disease, although there is no definitive evidence for this. [1 (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/breastimplants/extracapstudy)] However, documented problems with breast implants include rupture, deflation, infection, scarring and hardening of the implants. [2 (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/breastimplants/breast_implant_risks_brochure)]

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons[?], breast augmentation is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure on women in the United States. In 2002, 236,888 women in the United States underwent breast augmentation. [3 (http://www.plasticsurgery.org/public_education/2002-Top-5-Female-Cosmetic-Procedures.cfm)]

See also: breast reconstruction

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