Breast Implant Rupture and Connective Tissue Disease: A Review of the Literature

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Abstract

Background:

Large-scale epidemiologic studies to date have not found any credible association between silicone breast implants and either well-defined connective tissue diseases or undefined or atypical connective tissue diseases. It has been hypothesized that implant rupture could prompt an immunologic reaction giving rise to autoimmune or related diseases. In this article, the authors review the available literature on implant ruptures and connective tissue disease.

Methods:

Articles were identified from PubMed and by cross-checking reference lists of retrieved articles.

Results:

Five publications were identified. In none of the studies were diseases or symptoms related to well-defined or ill-defined connective tissue diseases associated with rupture status.

Conclusions:

There appears to be little scientific basis for any association between implant rupture and well-defined connective tissue disease or undefined or atypical connective tissue diseases. The concept of silicone-related disease was developed by rheumatologists based on highly selected groups of symptomatic breast implant patients seen in their practices. It is likely that nonspecific complications or symptoms related perhaps to capsular contracture or implant rupture may be misinterpreted as representing a systemic disease.

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