Abstract: Rupture of Silicone Gel Breast Implants and Symptoms of Pain and Fatigue

J Rheumatol. 2003 Oct;30(10):2263-2267.  Vermeulen RC, Scholte HR.  Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: To compare symptoms of women with silicone gel breast implants and women with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and to study the effect of rupture of the silicone implant.

METHODS: Five hundred readers of the Dutch silicone breast implant support group magazine were asked to respond if they had been informed by the surgeon about the silicone implant status at operation, and to answer questions about symptoms of CFS. Their complaints were compared with those of 100 female patients with CFS and 40 female controls.

RESULTS: The questionnaires were returned by 319 women. Of these, 227 had symptoms of debilitating chronic fatigue. The patterns of symptoms differed from those in patients with CFS. An analysis of the relation between integrity of the implants and the symptoms could be carried out in 176 women, and 74% of these latter women reported ruptured implants. Significantly more women with ruptured implants than those with intact implants had debilitating chronic fatigue (75% vs 51%), postexertional malaise > 24 h (77% vs 51%), impaired short term memory (58% vs 38%), and multi-joint pain (77% vs 60%).

CONCLUSION: Women with silicone breast implants often report severe pain and chronic fatigue. Rupture of the implant is associated with an increase in symptoms of pain and chronic fatigue.

PMID: 14528527 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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