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Silicone Implants

The FDA just lifted its ban on silicone implants. Instead of waiting for safety studies, they have decided to allow them back on the market with a “wait and see” attitude to see if any problems crop up. Supposedly, the FDA is supposed to hold off on the approval of drugs and medical devices until safety can be established. Although it seems more and more that they are allowing these drugs and devices to be put on the market and people being used as human guinea pigs. When the drugs are devices are found to be very dangerous or deadly the FDA often leaves them on the market, unless forced to remove them.

The safety of silicone implants has been in question for quite a long time. Back in the early 60s, both Dow Corning Wright (DCW), and the FDA, submitted interoffice memorandums admitting that the original breast implants could cause problems due to the polyurethane coating, which decomposed in the body in to the carcinogen TDA. Despite the danger, both DCW and the FDA did not remove these implants from the market, but rather stated that their use should be limited. The coated implants were eventually banned because of the danger of cancer from these type implants.

Though, the safety problems did not end there. Silicone implants have been suspected of causing a host of problems from autoimmunity to connective tissue disorders. Talking to women over the years with silicone implants, I have heard complaints suspected from the implants including skin disorders, chronic sinus infections, joint disorders, memory loss, etc. A personal friend of mine developed breast cancer in her right breast after her right silicone implant ruptured. She had the implants replaced with saline implants thinking they were safer. The cancer was eventually put in to remission with herbs and ozone therapy. When her saline implants started to leak she started developing malignant tumors all over her body. She sold her ozone unit to help cover her medical bills. I received a call one day from a mutual friend, and I was told that our friend was in hospice. She passed away shortly afterward. I have no doubt that the implants were a direct cause of her death.

Silicone manufacturers maintain that their products are safe, and there is no evidence that the implants cause any health problems. Research on the safety of silicone tells a different story. When researching the safety of silicone breast implants a while back, I ran across a very interesting article in a medical journal. The article did not have anything to with implants, but brought up an interesting fact. The article actually described a 12 year old girl with a silicone drainage tube in her brain. The patient developed antibodies to the silicone drainage tube. The reason this is so important is that it shows us too things. First, all the focus has been on the liquid silicone in the implants, which starts leaking from the implants right after they are implanted. They do not need to rupture to leak. This case shows us that not only does the body react to the foreign silicone, but also that the body reacts to solid silicone. The bags of silicone and saline implants are made of solid silicone. To understand why this is important, we must first understand a simple fact. Contrary to what we are taught in medicine, antibodies are not always specific to their target.

Antibodies have different levels of specificity. High affinity antibodies are more specific to their target, and are the primary form of antibodies produced by a healthy immune system. Low affinity antibodies are less specific to nonspecific, and are the primary antibody produced in autoimmune disorders. Low affinity antibodies mistake healthy tissues for antigens, and inadvertently tag healthy tissue for destruction by white blood cells.

Understanding the above concept helps us to understand how silicone creates connective tissue disorders. As the immune system tries to deal with the foreign substance, antibodies are generated against the silicone. When the antibodies being generated are low affinity, they can tag connective tissue for destruction due to the resemblance between silicone and the connective tissue protein collagen.

Not every woman with breast implants will develop connective tissue disorders, or other problems. The reason is that the production of low affinity antibodies is not regulated by the presence of an antigen, but rather is due to the level of adrenal function. The adrenal glands produce hormones known as corticosteroids, which modulate the immune response. When the adrenal glands are healthy, they can produce sufficient levels of the corticosteroids for the production of high affinity antibodies. If the adrenal glands become suppressed from conditions such as Prednisone use, chronic stress, or stimulant abuse, then lowered levels of corticosteroids can lead to a higher production of low affinity antibodies. This increases the risk of connective tissue disorders.

It is also possible that anti-silicone antibodies play a role in the failure of implants. The average lifespan of an implant is around 12 years. The implants are not being exposed to ultraviolet, or other things that can cause silicone deterioration. Therefore, it should be considered that the immune system’s assault on the silicone could play a role in the walls of the bag weakening and eventually rupturing.

Liquid silicone does pose more of a problem than solid silicone though. Once liquid silicone leaks in to the body, the silicone migrates in to various tissues, making it impossible to completely remove. There is even some concern that liquid silicone might be able to migrate in to the brain. Regardless, women with silicone poisoning from leakage of liquid silicone, risk a lifetime of health problems.

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