Despite the lack of a scientifically proven link between silicone implants and disease, many women have chosen to have their implants removed out of concern for their health. Unfortunately, there are few studies in the literature that have investigated the outcome of explantations, and there are no prospective analyses of the effect explantation has on a patient's general health. The goal of this study was to use a prospective database to determine whether there were any preoperative parameters that could be used to predict which patients would be improved following removal of silicone breast implants and to provide a quantifiable measure of that improvement. A total of 38 patients with silicone breast implants underwent operative removal of their breast implants by faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. They were given questionnaires regarding several personal and medical parameters to be completed preoperatively, at 6 weeks postoperatively, and at 6 months postoperatively. In addition, their physicians completed preoperative and postoperative evaluations of the patient's general health status. A control group of 38 patients was established; they were matched with the experimental group with regard to age and other initial parameters. Their responses to questionnaires were then grouped according to standard subscales to evaluate physical functioning, physical role, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, emotional role, mental health, appearance evaluation, appearance orientation, illness orientation, and body area satisfaction. When compared with the control group, we found that patients who had undergone explantation showed a temporary decrease in musculoskeletal symptoms and bodily pain, as well as an increase in vitality, mental health, and body area satisfaction. Of the experimental group, those who initially indicated a higher number of musculoskeletal symptoms and a higher appearance evaluation were more likely to indicate a significant improvement in general health since explantation.
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