400,000 women have breast implants each year and use is rising. This story was about where we are today with silicone. The use is on the rise but have we really settled the question about safety? The article kind of skirts the scary issues like the autoimmune disease and focuses on the common complications (which are much higher than perhaps people recognized). The story missed a chance to dig into the data and to help women really understand the issue more deeply. Instead, we hear a lot from one plastic surgeon who presents his own point of view.
We would have liked more data, less opinion.
The safety of silicone breast implants is an emotionally charged issue, whether for reconstruction or augmentation; specific facts and clear options help women make better decisions about such a significant surgery.
The article sidesteps any issues related to costs of breast implants or the remedies for failures, a glaring omission in light of frequent complications and adverse outcomes.
Not applicable. This was about safety. No good way to quantify benefits.
The story discussed common problems, but was silent on:
Half the story on harms just isn’t good enough in this case.
Missing is reference to the actual FDA- published information on post-approval studies describing:
Conflicting implications of silicone leakage are anecdotal, rather than evidence-based.
It would be difficult to oversell the caveats in this story; the article presented dramatic, significant concerns.
Two independent experts were quoted. (Sidney Wolfe’s name was misspelled.) However, the article could have benefited from:
Saline implants were mentioned briefly but not discussed in any detail. No other options, such as choosing to avoid the procedure with its risks, or fat relocation, were discussed.
Beginning with a clear description of silicone breast implants…banned in 1992, back five years ago with a concurrent FDA evaluation process…the article does an excellent job of establishing availability.
One focus of the story was the June FDA report – the new angle.
It’s clear that the story didn’t rely solely on a news release.