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Suggested Citation:"Conclusions." Institute of Medicine. 2000. Information for Women About the Safety of Silicone Breast Implants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9618.
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Conclusions

The IOM committee's review of research and medical studies shows a local, but not general, reaction to silicone breast implants.

  • There is no evidence that silicone implants are responsible for any major diseases of the whole body. Women are exposed to silicone constantly in their daily lives.

  • There is no plausible evidence of a novel autoimmune disease caused by implants.

  • The committee found no increase in either primary or recurrent breast cancer in women with breast implants. Some studies even suggest lower rates of breast cancer in implanted women.

  • There is no danger in breast-feeding; cows' milk and infant formulas have a far higher level of silicon, a silicone component, than mothers' milk. Breast milk is the best food for babies.

  • The major problems with implants are local, but not life-threatening, complications. These include implant removal, ruptures, deflations, capsular contracture, infection, and pain.

  • Many women will have secondary problems such as severe contracture, rupture, and implant removal.

  • Implants do not last forever; risks accumulate over time, and many women should expect to have more than one implant.

  • Some women with breast implants are indeed very ill. However, the committee can find no evidence that these women are sick because of their implants.

Suggested Citation:"Conclusions." Institute of Medicine. 2000. Information for Women About the Safety of Silicone Breast Implants. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9618.
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When the Institute of Medicine began their comprehensive study of the safety of silicone breast implants, they heard directly from many women who suffer severe systemic illnesses. While convinced that in most instances the implants were not causally related to their conditions, the committee noted that many women felt strongly that they were not provided with adequate information on which to base their decision to have these implants. This short, 16-page guide puts this vital information in simple terms for women who have had implants or are considering them. Learn the risks -- and the facts -- today.

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