Letter to Dr. Reichman re MSNBC article

Dear Dr. Reichman:

I read the article on MSNBC website today called; "Woman with fake boobs has real health worries; A 40-year-old wants to know if breast implants ruin mammogram results." at the link:


Thank you for your article, which helps educate women on some of the risk factors associated with receiving breast implants.

I want to respond to your article with additional comments, regarding breast implants, rupture and mammogram compression:

1. Ruptures from mammograms are often not detected, nor associated with them.

More ruptures occur from mammogram compression than are being reported to the FDA because many women do not realize that the mammogram is what actually ruptured their implants.

Nearly all implants, and definitely all older breast implants, are covered with scar capsules. If rupture does occur, it is usually contained within the capsule and slowly leaks out.

It could be a week, a month, or more - before a rupture could be detected, especially if a woman had silicone implants. By then, many women do not not associate it with the mammogram.

A photo (see below for links) shows one implant removed "enbloc" where the implant and scar capsules are removed in one piece. The scar capsules have been opened up and what we see is an unruptured implant and the inside of the scar capsules.

In another photo the second implant is ruptured and it also shows the inside of the scar capsules. The capsules may become calcified on the inside, creating a very rough, hard interior - this is right next to the implant.

This calcified capsule works as an abrasion and over time weakens the implant, further increasing the chances of rupture.

The probability of rupture also increases depending on factors such as; if the woman sleeps on her stomach or does some positions in yoga or other forms of exercise, where the woman would put pressure on her chest/breasts.

There is a photo, remarkable in the fact that it shows how the elastomer shell of one implant has completely disappeared or has broken apart and migrated from the implant. This broken apart shell material, that is no longer visible, is now permanently inside this woman's body. Even though the shell material, was not longer there, the silicone gel was still contained within the scar capsules.

2. Bacteria and/or fungus contamination inside saline implants is common

For a women who has had saline implants for six-years - their is a very good probability that bacteria and/or fungus could have accumulated within the saline solution.

All saline products have an expiration date on them because it is well known - that after a period of time - bacteria can form in saline solutions. The current fungus infections associated with the Bausch and Lomb contact lens "saline solution" is a current example of that.

If a saline implant does have bacteria inside - with the intense pressure inflicted with mammography - there is a good possibility this bacteria could be squeezed out into the woman's body causing sepsis or toxic shock.

To see photographs of bacterial and fungus saline implants go to the following links:

Saline and silicone implants with bacterial and fungus contamination: http://www.siliconeholocaust.org/implants.jpg Saline and silicone implants and bleed http://www.siliconeholocaust.org/siliconestories15a.html How the capsule can hold ruptured silicone inside http://www.siliconeholocaust.org/siliconestories13.html

Following are reports associated with toxic shock/infections and breast implants

Infections related to breast implants reported to the Food and Drug Administration, 1977-1997. Brown SL, Hefflin B, Woo EK, Parmentier CM. J Long Term Eff Med Implants. 2001;11(1-2):1-12. PMID: 11495100 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Toxic shock syndrome in plastic surgery patients: case report and review of the literature. Holm C, Muhlbauer W. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 1998 May-Jun;22(3):180-4. PMID: 9618183 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Re: Augmentation mammoplasty associated with a severe systemic illness. Marshall WR. Ann Plast Surg. 1997 Dec;39(6):668. No abstract available. PMID: 9418935 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Toxic shock syndrome after explantation of breast implants: a case report and review of the literature. Walker LE, Breiner MJ, Goodman CM. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1997 Mar;99(3):875-9. Review. No abstract available. PMID: 9047212 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Toxic shock syndrome as a complication of breast prostheses. Poblete JV, Rodgers JA, Wolfort FG. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1995 Dec;96(7):1702-8. Review. PMID: 7480294 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Toxic shock syndrome after augmented mammaplasty Giesecke J., Arnander C. Annal of Plastic Surgery 1986; Vol.17: 532-3

Toxic shock syndrome from an infected breast prosthesis Barnett A., Lavey E., Pearl RM, Vistnes LM Annal of Plastic Surgery 1983: Vol.10: 408-10

3. Age of the implant, plays a important factor in rupture The older the implant, the weaker the implant and more likely they are to rupture from any cause, including silent rupture.

So the age of the implant plays an important factor in the probability of rupture during mammogram compression or force to the breasts.

4. Capsular contracture plays a role in rupture Whether the implants have a little or a lot of capsular contracture also plays a factor - not only in the comfort level for the individual getting the mammogram but for compression as well.

Capsular contracture is already squeezing, compressing and putting force on the implant.

5. Myocardial SPECT imaging for coronary artery disease is impaired by breast implants Not only do women face a risk of rupture from mammogram compression but they are also at risk of not receiving an accurate Myocardial SPECT imaging for coronary artery disease.

The presence of a foreign object such as breast implants, can greatly impair accurate imaging. If a woman has a rupture it can also leak into the area around the heart as well. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women - this is very important information for women to have before choosing whether to get breast implant or not.

Impaired myocardial SPECT imaging secondary to silicon- and saline- containing breast implants.

Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2006 Mar 15; [Epub ahead of print] Stinis CT, Lizotte PE, Movahed MR. PMID: 16538430 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Silicone thorax due to a ruptured breast implant. Levine RL, Allen TC, Cartwright J Jr, Cagle PT. Chest. 2005 May;127(5):1854-7. PMID: 15888870 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

I hope this will add to the knowledge and understanding of some of the risks associated with implants.


Ruby Rahn Activist

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