An implanted breast prosthesis might affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed, according to a draft warning published by the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.
Though the implants are far more common now than they were 20 years ago, thousands of people have complained in recent years that their breast implants have broken down and leaked into their body, leaving health problems ranging from infections and sepsis to kidney and heart damage.
The FDA said that as more women obtain breast implants, they must be warned to watch for any health risks related to their implants.
“Women who were given implant surgery over the past two decades or more should talk to their health care providers about concerns such as changes in breast size, feeling sick or sore and discomfort,” Dr. William Maisel, a prosthetist and assistant director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement. “Aesthetic implants can have complications and there is still more we need to learn about how they affect women’s lives.”
Since 1991, nearly 27,000 women have filed claims with the FDA alleging that their breast implants caused health problems. That number more than doubled to more than 57,000 in 2014, an increase the FDA attributed to more women filing complaints about their implants as health data improved.
Almost 200 women who had implants in the mid-1980s have filed claims with the FDA, according to a report by Forbes.