Longtime Dallas Plastic Surgeon Weighs In On Breast Implant Safety

The federal government could soon weigh in on the safety of breast implants.

In April, the Food and Drug Administration held a public meeting, where dozens of women testified they were harmed by breast implants

They're demanding the FDA take new steps to protect consumers, including providing more information about potential risks and banning devices linked to the most serious complications, including cancer.

As of September 30, 2018, the FDA had received a total of 660 medical device reports of breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, BIA-ALCL, including the death of nine patients.

This wouldn't be the first time federal regulators have questioned the safety of breast implants.

A longtime Dallas plastic surgeon believes women will be the benefactors of this controversial issue.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation was the number one cosmetic surgical procedure in 2018.

However, out of the 300,000 women who get a breast augmentation every year, more women than before have come forward, claiming their implants have been the source of illness.

Dr. Robert Hamas took the national spotlight when he spoke in front of an FDA committee about breast implant safety in March.

The now-retired Dallas surgeon was at the height of his career in the 90s when the federal government pulled silicone implants off the market, citing concerns about their safety.

"Patients were very, very frightened about what was in their body," said Hamas.

At the time,  there were worries about a possible connection to a variety of diseases, as well as an alarming cases of ruptures.

Silicone implants were allowed back on the market in 2006 but by then, Dr. Hamas had created a new kind implant.

"It gives women a third choice, with many of the safety features of saline, which they like for peace of mind, but it also gives the natural feel and performance of a gel implant," said Dr. Hamas.

The now FDA-approved IDEAL implant, a saline implant designed to look and feel like silicone gel implant, is in its fourth year on the  market.

"I think it was important for me to convey the message that women want choices in implants."

A message he brought to the Washington, D.C. and hopes will further empower women, like Heather Jordan, of Allen, who spent a year and a half researching implants before deciding to get them.

"You are putting something foreign in your body.  You should definitely know what you're getting into," said Jordan.

"When I started practicing, the surgeon made the decisions. The women didn't have many sources of information. Today, there is a huge amount of information on websites and through social media, company websites, etc.," said Dr. Hamas.

Now, breast implant safety and access to resources is on the radar of federal regulators, implant manufacturers, doctors, and most importantly, women.

"Times have changed. Women expect, and they should expect, to make their own decisions. Get unbiased information," adds Dr. Hamas.

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