Safety Information

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Breast Implant Clinical Studies

Your Assurance of Safety
Over the years, Mentor has made a very thorough safety evaluation of both saline-filled breast implants and gel-filled breast implants. In addition to our own testing, Mentor has sponsored other state-of-the-art tests performed at leading academic institutions. These studies have combined to include more than 200,000 women with silicone gel-filled breast implants.

Mentor has also conducted extensive investigations of saline-filled breast implants involving nearly 5,000 patients. The general objective of these studies was to gather information about the safety and effectiveness of saline breast implants. MENTOR® MemoryGel™ Breast Implants (round shape) and Saline Breast Implants have received PMA (pre-market application) approval from the US FDA.

As we have for many years, Mentor will remain committed to providing the public with objective information about breast implant safety.

The Safety of Silicone Breast Implants

An approval based on science: In 1997, the Department of Health and Human Services began one of the most extensive research studies in medical history by appointing the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science (IOM) to examine potential complications during or after an operation. The committee included members of the medical, scientific and educational communities with experience in radiology, women's health, neurology, oncology, silicone chemistry, rheumatology, immunology, epidemiology, internal medicine and plastic surgery. No IOM members had on-going relationships or conflicts of interest related to any implant lawsuits.

After reviewing years of evidence and research concerning silicone gel-filled breast implants, the IOM found that "Evidence suggests diseases or conditions such as connective tissue diseases, cancer, neurological diseases or other systemic complaints or conditions are no more common in women with breast implants than in women without implants." You can read the complete IOM report online for free.

The Independent Review Group (IRG) on Silicone Breast Implants was assembled by the Chief Medical Officer of the UK to also review the possible health issues associated with silicone gel breast implants. Members of the IRG were selected for their independent views, their knowledge and understanding of the issues, and lack of any financial interest in the conclusions they reached.

Led by Professor Roger D. Sturrock, MD, FRCP, the IRG reported in 1998 that there is no scientific evidence of an association between silicone gel-filled breast implants and any established connective tissue disease. The complete report is available on the Internet at

In July 1998, the European Committee on Quality Assurance and Medical Devices in Plastic Surgery released a report that contained the following conclusions: "There are conclusive scientific—clinical, immunological, epidemiological—data, that silicone gel-filled breast implants do not cause any autoimmune nor connective tissue diseases." Their report also stated, "Updated studies continue to show that silicone gel-filled implants do not cause cancer nor other malignant disease." The entire declaration can be found on the internet at

Information Regarding All MENTOR® Breast Implants

Important Safety Information

MENTOR® MemoryGel™ and MENTOR® Saline-Filled Breast Implants are indicated for breast augmentation—in women who are at least 18 years old—or for breast reconstruction. Breast implant operations should not be performed in women with active infection anywhere in their body or with existing cancer or pre-cancer of their breast who have not received adequate treatment for those conditions or who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

There are risks associated with breast implant operations. Breast implants are not lifetime devices and breast implantation is likely not a one-time operation. You may need additional unplanned surgeries on your breasts because of complications or unacceptable cosmetic outcomes. Many of the changes to your breast following implantation are irreversible (cannot be undone) and breast implants may affect your ability to breastfeed, either by reducing or eliminating milk production.

The most common complications with MemoryGel™ Breast Implants include reoperation, capsular contracture, asymmetry and breast pain. A lower risk of complication is implant rupture, which is most often silent (meaning neither you nor your doctor will know you have a rupture). The health consequences of a ruptured silicone gel-filled breast implant have not been fully established. Screenings such as mammography, MRI or ultrasound are recommended after an initial implant operation to assist in detecting implant rupture.

The most common complications with MENTOR® Saline-filled Breast Implants include reoperation, implant removal, capsular contracture, wrinkling, breast pain and deflation.

CONTOUR PROFILE™ Tissue Expanders and Smooth Round Tissue Expanders with Remote Dome are used for breast reconstruction following mastectomy. These expanders are intended for temporary subcutaneous or sub muscular implantation and are not intended for use beyond six months. You should not have an MRI while the CONTOUR PROFILE™ Tissue Expander is implanted. The device could be moved by the MRI, causing pain or displacement and potentially resulting in a revision operation. The incidence of extrusion of the expander has been shown to increase when the expander has been placed in injured areas: scarred, heavily irradiated or burned tissue, crushed bone areas or where severe surgical reduction of the area has previously been performed.

Patients are reminded to discuss the indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions, as well as the risks and benefits associated with MENTOR® Breast Implants with their doctors or review detailed risk information online at It is important that you understand the risks associated with breast implant operation when considering MENTOR® Breast Implants.