Category Archives: Helpful Articles

Stephanie March Opens Up About Breast Augmentation Health Scare

Katie Kindelan, ABC News: June 30, 2016.

Actress Stephanie March, best known for playing an assistant district attorney on “Law & Order: SVU,” has opened up about a dangerous reaction she experienced after undergoing breast augmentation.

March, 41, described the episode in a candid essay she wrote for Refinery29. The actress said she decided to have the surgery during a painful time in her life — her split from her then-husband, chef Bobby Flay. […]

March wrote that just two months after the surgery she experienced complications and learned her right implant was infected and the seams of her scar on her right side had burst. Her surgeon removed the implant and sent her to an infectious disease doctor.

“I [had] a hole in my breast for 6 weeks while I blasted my body with antibiotics. I had the implant put back in. I had another infection and rupture on Christmas Eve. I had it taken out again. I had more cultures and tests and conversations with doctors than I care to recall,” March wrote.

March said she came to the conclusion that her complication was not something anyone could have prevented but that, “I am allergic to implants. Plain and simple. My body did. Not. Want. Them. I kept trying to ‘fix’ my body, and it kept telling me to leave it alone.”

The actress, whose divorce from Flay was finalized in July 2015, ultimately had her implants removed. […]

March told ABC News in a statement she is “overwhelmed” and “very moved” by the “positive reaction” to her article.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Chief women’s health correspondent, said today on “Good Morning America” that even common plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation are “not without complications.”

“You need to know about these possible complications and they do differ based on the type of implant used, the approach used, the incision and generally the skill and the expertise of the surgeon, although these can happen with the best surgical technique,” Ashton said, adding that March noted in her Refinery29 article she did not blame her own surgeon.

Ashton recommends that patients ask their doctor the following three questions before undergoing plastic surgery: Are you board-certified in plastic surgery? How many of these operations you do per year? What is your complication rate?

“If you think that having cosmetic surgery is going to change your life, it’s not,” Ashton added. “And there’s no such thing as minor surgery. You get a complication, it becomes major real fast.”

Read the original article here.

Janice Dickinson Regrets Getting Breast Implants, Believes It Affected Cancer Diagnosis

Ali Venosa, Medical Daily: May 21, 2016.

Breast implants are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures on the planet, but that doesn’t mean they’re never regretted. Supermodel Janice Dickinson, 61, told Entertainment Tonight that when her doctor told her she had stage 1 breast cancer, she wished she never went under the knife.

The mammogram technician added it’s more difficult to detect abnormalities in the breasts when a woman has implants, to which Dickinson replied, “Take them out! Take them out, cut them out! Just take them out now!” Luckily, she doesn’t need to undergo a mastectomy, and instead will begin radiation treatments next week. If she had to do it all over again, Dickinson said she “would have never gotten breast implants in the first place. […]

Though breast implants do not appear to increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, there may be a link between implants and an increased risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). In 90 percent of breast cancer cases, women find a breast lump themselves and bring it to the attention of their doctor. With implants, it can be a little more difficult to recognize changes in the breasts. According to one study, 55 percent of breast tumors were missed in women with implants compared to 33 percent of tumors in women without them. […]

For women worried that a mammogram will damage their implants, Bevers said not to worry: The benefits of a mammogram far outweigh any small risk of implant damage. But if women do have them, they should tell their clinician so that it’s easier for them to spot any unusual changes that may be taking place. Regardless of implants, though, the best defense against breast cancer is to be familiar with your breasts and to attend screenings regularly.

Overall, Dickinson herself doesn’t plan on slowing down. It’s not a “big pity party,” she said. “I am living and I am happy.”

Read the original article here.

Fibromyalgia and Ruptured Silicone Gel Breast Implants

FDA Consumer Magazine: November/December 2001.

Women whose silicone breast implants have ruptured and spread silicone gel beyond the fibrous scar that forms around the implant may be at increased risk for fibromyalgia, an FDA study indicates.

FDA researchers asked 344 women with silicone gel implants if they had experienced persistent joint pain, swelling or stiffness; rash on their breasts or chest; or fatigue. Those in the study also were asked whether a physician had diagnosed them with Raynaud’s disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, scleroderma, chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia–a chronic condition marked by fatigue, musculoskeletal aches and sleep disturbances.

The women also had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination to detect whether their implants were intact or ruptured, and whether silicone gel had leaked outside of the scar tissue immediately surrounding the implant.

The study found that women with a ruptured implant in which the silicone hadn’t leaked beyond the scar tissue were no more likely than women with intact implants to report that they had either the persistent symptoms or diagnosed illnesses listed on the questionnaire.

However, the women with silicone gel that had migrated outside the fibrous scar around the implant were nearly three times more likely to report that they had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or other connective tissue disease than women without extracapsular silicone gel.

“If other studies are consistent with these findings, women should be informed of the potential risk of developing fibromyalgia if their breast implants rupture and silicone gel escapes outside the fibrous scar capsule,” says lead study investigator S. Lori Brown, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

The study, supported in part by the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health and the National Institutes of Health, was published in the May 2001 Journal of Rheumatology. An estimated 6 million to 8 million Americans have fibromyalgia. About 80 percent of those affected are women.

The FDA took silicone gel breast implants off the market for general use in 1992 because of safety concerns. They continue to be allowed in FDA-approved studies for women seeking breast reconstruction or revision of an existing breast implant. Additionally, those who need to have an existing implant replaced for medical reasons, such as implant rupture, are also eligible for these studies.

Read the original article here.