Mammograms and breast implants
To: todaycontributors@ feedback.msnbc.com
Subject: To: Dr. Judith Reichman
Dear Dr. Recihman:
I read the article on MSNBC website today called;
"Woman with fake boobs has real health worries; A
40-year-old wants to know if breast implants ruin
mammogram results." at the link:
Thank you for your article, which helps educate women
on some of the risk factors associated with receiving
I want to respond to your article with additional
comments, regarding breast implants, rupture and
1. Ruptures from mammograms are often not detected,
nor associated with them. More ruptures occur from
mammogram compression than are being reported to the
FDA because many women do not realize that the
mammogram is what actually ruptured their implants.
Nearly all implants, and definitely all older breast
implants, are covered with scar capsules. If rupture
does occur, it is usually contained within the capsule
and slowly leaks out. It could be a week, a month, or
more - before a rupture could be detected, especially
if a woman had silicone implants. By then, many women
do not associate it with the mammogram.
For examples of ruptures contained within scar
capsule, please see the attached pdf file below:
Page 1 - of the attached pdf file shows one implant
removed "enbloc" where the implant and scar capsules
are removed in one piece. The scar capsules have been
opened up and what we see is an unruptured implant and
the inside of the scar capsules.
Page 2 - is the other implant from the same women.
The second implant is ruptured and it also shows the
inside of the scar capsules. Note that the capsules
have become calcified on the inside, creating a very
rough, hard interior - this is right next to the
implant. This calcified capsule works as an abrasion
and over time weakens the implant, further increasing
the chances of rupture. The probability of rupture
also increases depending on factors such as; if the
woman sleeps on her stomach or does some positions in
yoga or other forms of exercise, where the woman would
put pressure on her chest/breasts.
Page 3 - shows two implants removed "enbloc" with the
capsules removed. This photo is remarkable in the fact
that it shows how the elastomer shell of one implant
has completely disappeared or has broken apart and
migrated from the implant. This broken apart shell
material, that is no longer visible, is now
permanently inside this woman's body. Even though the
shell material, was not longer there, the silicone gel
was still contained within the scar capsules.
2. Bacteria and/or fungus contamination inside saline
implants is common For a women who has had saline
implants for six-years - their is a very good
probability that bacteria and/or fungus could have
accumulated within the saline solution.
All saline products have an expiration date on them
because it is well known - that after a period of time
- bacteria can form in saline solutions. The current
fungus infections associated with the Bausch and Lomb
contact lens "saline solution" is a current example of
If a saline implant does have bacteria inside - with
the intense pressure inflicted with mammography -
there is a good possibility this bacteria could be
squeezed out into the woman's body causing sepsis or
To see photographs of bacterial and fungus saline
implants go to the following links:
Saline and silicone implants with bacterial and
Saline and silicone implants and bleed
How the capsule can hold ruptured silicone inside
Following are reports associated with toxic
shock/infections and breast implants
Infections related to breast implants reported to the
Food and Drug Administration, 1977-1997.
Brown SL, Hefflin B, Woo EK, Parmentier CM. J Long
Term Eff Med Implants. 2001;11(1-2):1-12. PMID:
11495100 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Toxic shock syndrome in plastic surgery patients: case
report and review of the literature.
Holm C, Muhlbauer W.
Aesthetic Plast Surg. 1998 May-Jun;22(3):180-4.
PMID: 9618183 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Re: Augmentation mammoplasty associated with a severe
systemic illness. Marshall WR.
Ann Plast Surg. 1997 Dec;39(6):668. No abstract
PMID: 9418935 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Toxic shock syndrome after explantation of breast
implants: a case report and review of the literature.
Walker LE, Breiner MJ, Goodman CM.
Plast Reconstr Surg. 1997 Mar;99(3):875-9. Review.
No abstract available.
PMID: 9047212 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Toxic shock syndrome as a complication of breast
prostheses. Poblete JV, Rodgers JA, Wolfort FG. Plast
Reconstr Surg. 1995 Dec;96(7):1702-8. Review. PMID:
7480294 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Toxic shock syndrome after augmented mammaplasty
Giesecke J., Arnander C. Annal of Plastic Surgery
1986; Vol.17: 532-3
Toxic shock syndrome from an infected breast
prosthesis Barnett A., Lavey E., Pearl RM, Vistnes LM
Annal of Plastic Surgery 1983: Vol.10: 408-10
3. Age of the implant, plays a important factor in
rupture The older the implant, the weaker the implant
and more likely they are to rupture from any cause,
including silent rupture. So the age of the implant
plays an important factor in the probability of
rupture during mammogram compression or force to the
4. Capsular contracture plays a role in rupture
Whether the implants have a little or a lot of
capsular contracture also plays a factor - not only in
the comfort level for the individual getting the
mammogram but for compression as well. Capsular
contracture is already squeezing, compressing and
putting force on the implant.
5. Myocardial SPECT imaging for coronary artery
disease is impaired by breast implants Not only do
women face a risk of rupture from mammogram
compression but they are also at risk of not receiving
an accurate Myocardial SPECT imaging for coronary
artery disease. The presence of a foreign object such
as breast implants, can greatly impair accurate
imaging. If a woman has a rupture it can also leak
into the area around the heart as well. Since heart
disease is the leading cause of death in American
women - this is very important information for women
to have before choosing whether to get breast implant
Impaired myocardial SPECT imaging secondary to
silicon- and saline- containing breast implants.
Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2006 Mar 15; [Epub ahead of
print] Stinis CT, Lizotte PE, Movahed MR. PMID:
16538430 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Silicone thorax due to a ruptured breast implant.
Levine RL, Allen TC, Cartwright J Jr, Cagle PT. Chest.
2005 May;127(5):1854-7. PMID: 15888870 [PubMed -
indexed for MEDLINE
I hope this will add to the knowledge and understand
of some of the risks associated with implants.