Effects of mothers implants on offspring

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Another issue which has been of continuing concern to women with implants has been the possibility that a woman's implants affect her offspring. Some suggested mechanisms by which this might occur are via placental transmission of siloxanes (the building blocks of silicone), silicone, or other chemicals from breast implants [25]. Another possible source is from breast milk if contaminated with these compounds. Potential maternal-child health issues related to breast implants fall into three main categories: (a) female reproduction, including infertility and spontaneous abortion; (b) potential teratogenic effects of silicone and other chemicals in implants; and (c) lactation quality (purity and safety of milk) and quantity (ability of women with implants to nurse). There is very little published information on any of these issues.

FDA searched MAUDE and DEN for reports of maternal-child problems attributed to a woman's breast implants [26] and identified 339 relevant reports. Nearly half of these reports (46%) described actual problems with breastfeeding or expressed concern that implants would be unsafe or interfere with breastfeeding; 44% of reports (n = 149) described either nonspecific or specific signs, symptoms, or illnesses in children thought to be related to their mother's implants. For the most part, these reports were vague and did not specify an illness or signs and symptoms, but simply stated that a child was ill due to his/her mother's implants (106 of 149 reports). In those reports in which illness, signs, or symptoms were specified, the majority reported gastrointestinal problems (24 of 43 reports in which it was specified) or connective tissue disease (16 of 43 reports), or symptoms or signs of connective tissue disease (13 of 43 reports).

An additional 3.5% of all reports (n = 12) described a congenital anomaly believed by the reporter to be due to breast implants. Without an extensive prenatal history on the mother, it is difficult to evaluate these reports. In a study of health outcomes in a cohort of offspring of women with breast implants, there was no observed increase in overall congenital anomalies in children born to mothers after breast implantation [27]. However, there was a statistically significant increase in children born with digestive organ malformation (RR = 1.9, 1.4-2.4) or pyloric stenosis (RR = 3.0, 1.9-4.7) to mother's after (but not before) breast implantation. There was also a slight increase in esophageal disorders in children of women with implants (RR = 1.6, 1.1-2.3) but this increase was also observed in offspring born prior to mother's breast implantation (2.1, 1.5-2.8).

Although there are not compelling studies to indicate that offspring of women with implants might be adversely affected, there is inadequate study to rule out that possibility. Because effects could be subtle and occur over the lifetime of an offspring, only large, well-designed longitudinal studies could resolve this issue.

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