Silicone Breast Implants and Autoimmunity: Causation or Myth?

In vivo and in vitro studies, case reports and population studies show that: (1) silicone is immunogenic; (2) silicone is biodegradable and transported via the reticuloendothelial system to distant locations; (3) silicone breast implants “leak” and in turn silicone migrates outside the breast tissue; (4) case reports and population studies document an autoimmune reaction and immunological dysfunction in patients with silicone breast implants; (5) these immunological abnormalities and symptoms are reversible upon removal of the breast implants (in 50-70% of cases). The criteria to establish medical causation are defined, and based on those criteria it is concluded that silicone breast implants cause immunological disease.

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