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Toxic Breast Implants Reconsidered

You probably remember the recent FDA hearings, rigged affairs in which Vioxx and Bextra were reapproved for consumer use. Expect some fireworks over the next three days, particularly during an unusually long public comment period today, as the agency debates the lifting restrictions on silicone-gel breast implants for the second time in less than two years.

Participants will decide if two specific manufacturers -- Inamed and Mentor -- have proved their implants are now safe and durable enough to be used by Americans. The preliminary word from FDA scientists is a no go, as the companies have provided limited data that shows any changes have been of limited value.

The list of witnesses includes many who report their implants have created devastating scars among other debilitating side effects and others who have had better success with them and favor freedom of choice. (Silicone implants have only been available since 1992 to women participating in controlled research studies.) If you're at all on the fence about breast implants, I urge you to read a dramatic testimonial from a woman my staff and I treated last year whose health suffered greatly until her implants were removed.

I strongly believe breast implants are a temporary solution to a deeper, long-lasting problem: A poor self-image that spurs women to have this surgery in the first place. There are more natural solutions women can use to solve their self-image problems that have nothing to do with anything invasive or toxic.

My favorite is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a form of psychological acupuncture I routinely use in my practice to optimize my patients' emotional health. All the work one does on his or her body through dieting, weight training, exercise and even breast augmentation surgery only scrapes the surface and fails to tackle the emotional component of the problem.

USA Today April 11, 2005

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