Hollywood on Breast Implants: Are Actors Playing Doctors?

Erik White, Guest Writer: Breastimplants.org

by Erik White, Guest Writer: Breastimplants.org | November 8, 2011 @ 09:00AM

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Mariel HemingwayA recent string of celebrities have used their status to spread awareness about the dangers of breast augmentation, including actress Mariel Hemingway, who recently claimed that she “almost died” from a ruptured implant. While it may seem hard to fault someone for trying to educate young women on the dangers of breast augmentation, there are a few factors that make this seem more like a publicity stunt for her website than a legitimate concern.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “What’s wrong with her trying to plug in her website that spreads awareness about the dangers of breast implants?” Well, first of all there’s nothing on the website, thewillingway.com, remotely related to breast implants, unless you count the gratuitous shots of Hemingway in various yoga poses with her chest in the camera as breast implant-related.

Second, if she truly is interested in educating young women on the dangers of breast implants, she would be better off encouraging surgeons to warn their clients themselves. The medical industry is one of the fastest evolving fields, and things that were “facts” last year could easily be different the next. Breast implants are no exception, considering that before the moratorium was placed on silicone implants in 1992, there were virtually no studies done on breast implants, and the ones that did exist lasted less than three years. Not only did Hemingway have her breast augmentation in the 70s, aka the “wild west” days of breast implants, where there were over 300 types and virtually no FDA regulation, but she left them in to the point that one of them ruptured and leaked silicone into her blood.

Was this her fault? Yes, but it’s understandable considering the rampant irresponsibility of the doctors performing the operations. However, Hemingway needs to realize that this is no longer the 70s, and breast implants have come a long way in terms of safety. The breast implant companies Allergan and Mentor have begun a 10 year long study of the dangers of silicone breast implants, and although it is only half way through, they have so far ruled that it is ‘reasonably safe” to have silicone implants installed.

The FDA now states that “Breast implants are not lifetime devices. The longer a woman has silicone gel-filled breast implants, the more likely she is to experience complications.” Unlike the 70s, doctors now accept this and warn potential patients about this as well as other facts, such as the FDA-stated fact that one in five patients who receive implants will need to get them removed within 10 years.

They say that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Although Mariel Hemingway’s attempts to educate young women may be genuine, it’s best left to the FDA and clinical studies to handle the dissemination of information when it comes to the safety of silicone breast implants.

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