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From England:

Firstly, the English are not happy about cosmetic surgery. My general practitioner friends have both suggested that I should not have breast implants, not only because of complications, but mainly because of my type 1 diabetes. I am 42, have finished having children (have three - plenty enough) and really want this surgery. However, they have reacted so strongly to my idea that I want to research it for before committing. Are there any statistics available to validate their arguments - from the diabetic standpoint?


I think your friends are concerned about the increased risk of infection associated with diabetes. When infection of the implants occur, they have to be removed and the cosmetic effect is less than desired. A quick literature search has not really brought anything up since a 2003 article, Infectious complications following breast reconstruction with expanders and implants, in Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery from Johns Hopkins Medical Center. The authors (Nahabedian et al.) studied 168 implants in 130 women. The purpose of the study was to identify factors that predispose patients to infections in the implants. In this particular study, diabetes was not an risk for infection. Infection occurred in roughly 8% of women. This is just one center's experience. However, if your blood sugar control is not good, infection has been shown to increase and healing is not good. These factors, as mentioned above, can lead to poor cosmetic outcomes. There are other things to consider. There have been some concerns about the types of implants that are put in place. Silicone implants have been associated with chronic complications and saline implants are thought to be safer. You will have to speak with the physician who performs the surgery, discuss your level of glycemic control, and then, make a decision. There will be some risk with having the procedure.


Original posting 16 Aug 2006
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