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A breast implant is an envelope containing a substance which has been developed in a laboratory to mimic the look and feel of the human breast as closely as possible. The envelope is usually made of silicone and the contents can be silicone, hydrogel, saline, soya oil (trilucent), cohesive gel, or a combination of these substances. Implants may be inserted during breast reconstruction surgery or for purely cosmetic purposes. Side effects from breast implants can include leakage and infection and changes in breast sensation and temperature.
In 2010, it was revealed a French company had used unapproved industrial-grade silicone filler instead of medical-grade silicone in their implants. A global recall of all PIP silicone breast implants was made and clinicians were advised to no longer use these implants for breast implantation. New Zealand law requires the notification of such medical devices when they are imported. However, there is no requirement that they have been rigorously tested. Medsafe’s website currently warns that “the use of breast implants is not endorsed by the New Zealand Government, whether through the Ministry of Health or otherwise, and the safety of such implants cannot be confirmed or refuted”If you would like more information or support about breast implants see:Ministry of Health information about implants »