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Cosmetic saline breast implants: a survey of satisfaction, breast-feeding experience, cancer screening, & health

  [ 44 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Strom SS, Baldwin BJ, Sigurdson AJ, Schusterman MA • • November 12, 1997

Saline breast implants have been used for the past 30 years
for cosmetic and reconstructive purposes. Data based on a
large number of patients are needed to evaluate patient
satisfaction, cancer screening practices, problems associated
with breast-feeding, and health effects. We conducted a
follow-up study of 292 cosmetic saline breast implant patients
from Texas and Louisiana who consented to a telephone
interview. Using a Likert scale, we measured the patients'
degree of satisfaction with the implants. The results
indicated that 80.5 percent were satisfied, 73.3 percent would
recommend saline breast implants to others, and 65.1 percent
felt that implants improved their quality of life. The extent
of satisfaction was independent of the number of additional
surgeries, age at implant, and follow-up time. Mammography use
and breast self-examination were reported with high frequency
in this survey. Ninety-one percent of study participants who
were between 40 and 49 years of age at time of interview and
94 percent of those 50 or older reported having had at least
one mammogram. Breast self-examination was practiced by 75
percent of the women, and 61 percent reported checking their
breasts at least once a month. Of the 46 women who had
children after augmentation, 28 reported breast-feeding and 8
(28.6 percent) reported having implant-related problems. The
patients were asked to provide information regarding a series
of conditions for which they sought medical attention. They
reported: atypical rheumatoid syndrome (n = 1), Sjogren
syndrome (n = 1), atypical autoimmune disorder (n = 1), and
chronic fatigue syndrome (n = 2). Overall, women who elected
to have saline breast implants were satisfied with their
augmentations, had mammograms and performed breast
self-examinations more often than nonaugmented women. A few
had problems when breast-feeding that could be related to
their implants. There were no reports of breast cancer, but
five women reported autoimmune conditions.

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