Monday, December 8, 2008

Breast Implants and Suicide Rates

My weekend research topic was “What happens to silicone implants when you die?” I know that implants can’t be biodegradable or else they would biodegrade inside your body, but does that mean that after your skin and bones become one with the earth that your implant/s would still be in the ground? I’m also pretty sure that all implants have serial tracking numbers, meaning that in a CSI-related moment calf implants found in some overgrown woods could be all that is left of a murder victim?

Unfortunately, I didn’t really find too much about this topic in my internet scouring, but I did find some information about breast implants that I had not previously been aware of. I am not against plastic surgery or implants at all, as long as one decides to go for that type of body modification for oneself and not to please a partner or society (or whatever) but I have always had a little bit of hesitation about the safety of those decisions.

Breast implants have notoriously had problems with leaking or bursting in the past. Silicone and saline and all sorts of things I don’t much understand, but in November of last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration okayed the sale of silicone breast implants for the first time in 14 years. I just recently heard about a study completed in 2007 which dropped this frightening statistic:

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women who get cosmetic breast implants are nearly three times as likely to commit suicide as other women, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.”

From the same study, USA Today reported:

“Women who have breast implants are three times as likely to die by suicide and have a similar increased risk of death as a result of drug use or alcoholism, a study says. The finding confirms earlier reports linking suicide and breast implantation and suggests plastic surgeons should consider mental health screening and follow-up for their patients.

The study, in August's Annals of Plastic Surgery, is by researchers at the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md.; Vanderbilt University in Nashville; and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. It extends by eight years research on 3,527 Swedish women who had cosmetic implants from 1965 to 1993. No notable increase was seen in the first 10 years after surgery, but 10 to 19 years after, risk was 4.5 times higher, and six times higher after 20 years, compared with the expected suicide rate. Researchers say it's not clear if the increase was the result of underlying psychiatric illness.”

The study showed no rise in the rate of cancer among women with implants, but the suicide connection seems pretty conclusive. The article from Reuters also said that in 2006, 383,886 U.S. women had breast augmentation. Do you think that those almost 400,000 women thought that their mental health could be severely affected by an augmentation? What are the causes?

I'd also be interested if anyone knows about the biodegradability of implants to fulfill my initial topic of interest...

1 comment:

lifestudent said...

they must leak fluid. that fluid goes to your brain. then you get sad. then you terminate yourself.

Good thing I found this out, I had a "proccedure" scheduled for next weekend.