Absolutely Safe

Breast Implants: Safety and Health

As noted in Facts About Breast Implants, more than 24,000 breast implant removal procedures were reported in 2015. Here’s what you can do to ensure women are fully informed about breast implants and are able to remove implants when their health is at risk.

What Can You Do?

Educate yourself and others.
Organize a screening of “Absolutely Safe,” the acclaimed documentary, through a local college or community group. OBOS will provide a free copy, and OBOS co-founder Judy Norsigian, OBOS executive director Julie Childers, or film director Carol Ciancutti-Leyva may be available to host a post-film discussion. Contact Our Bodies Ourselves to find out what’s involved in organizing a film screening.

From the film description:

In “Absolutely Safe,” plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Melmed and occupational health physician Dr. Michael Harbut maintain that breast implants remain flawed and potentially dangerous. On the other hand, renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Franklin Rose, as well as most plastic surgeons, strongly believe that breast implants have been repeatedly proven as safe and effective.

The goal of “Absolutely Safe” is to bring the controversy into focus, leaving viewers more informed and inspired to ask questions about implant safety, implant regulation, the rising popularity of implants, and the reasons why so many women make this choice.

Report health insurance denials of coverage.
OBOS is working with the National Center for Health Research in several key states to make sure that health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act will cover treatment and breast implant removal when it is medically necessary.

Under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), health insurance companies can’t deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, and they can’t discriminate against women. But in several states, insurance companies try to deny coverage for any complications related to breast augmentation, even if treatment is medically necessary — such as for removal of leaking breast implants, painful capsular contracture, or ALCL, a rare type of lymphoma that can be caused by breast implants.

We believe that denying coverage in these instances is illegal.

If you, or anyone you know, have breast implants that are making you sick and need to be removed, please contact the National Center for Health Reasearch (NCHR) at info [AT] breastimplantinfo.org. They can help you try to get health insurance to cover your medically necessary breast implant removal surgery.

When filing a claim with your insurance, it is important to focus on your health problems that your insurance policy mentions, such as a silicone rupture, capsular contracture or pain. 

If your health insurance policy paid for removal of breast implants that were originally for augmentation (not after mastectomy), please also let NCHR know. Any information will help them help other women trying to remove their breast implants.