Breast Implants Essay

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Biomaterials can be described as substances which can be introduced into the body as part of a medical device or replacement for an organ or bodily function. This literature review is based on a study of silicone breast implants and the associated risks.

Breast implants have been used for more than 30 years for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery as they have a high biological tolerance. They consist of an outer envelope made up of silicone elastomer, a highly cross-linked silicone which is blended with amorphous silicone [1]. Within the envelope is a gel comprising of both dimethyl- and methylvinyl-siloxane, forming a three-dimensional polymer network.

There are three main implant generations; the first was produced between 1963 and 1972.
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By performing these assessments, we’re able to obtain the most up to date information on the safety of silicone gel as well as characterising any risks and minimise any adverse effects.

In addition to these assessments, investigations provided in [1] and [2] are needed to be undertaken in order characterise any potential aging processes of the silicone breast implants, like the migration of free monomer material to local or distant sites in the body, as well as any body compounds infiltrating into the envelopes and gels causing a breakdown of the polymer.

[1] And [2] describe how solid state and liquid NMR experiments were used on extracts of the envelopes, gels and any connective tissue in order to monitor aging process and provide further information on the infiltration of body compounds. The results show that it is primarily implantation time, generation and properties of the implant itself that influence relaxation times, which show that with increase in time, there is an increase in molecular mobility, however if a rupture should occur, there is a decrease in relaxation time due to loss of silicones and

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