Saturday, May 26, 2007

NYT article on the debate over MRI surveillence of silicone breast implants

New York Times columnist, Natasha Singer, features an overview of the issue of MRI surveillance of silicone breast implants in her style/health column on Friday. I read Natasha's columns frequently, especially when they mention me :)

I think the title "Implants Are Back, and So Is Debate." is a little misleading to someone who didn't read the story. The debate, in this case, is not in re. to safety but rather about how, when, & why we should be doing serial MRI's after implantation.

It's pretty clear that no one is embracing the non-binding FDA recommendations about MRI's after implantation, and if you know anything about the data on this topic and observe practice patterns/standards of care world-wide, you can see that the FDA position is more political CYA then evidence based medicine. Health Canada (the Canadian FDA equivalent) so much as said so when they released the last of their token restrictions one months prior to the United States.

One thing mentioned in the story which I've never heard of was the investigation of radio frequency (RFID) tags made by Novalert to be embedded in implants to warn of potential rupture. Unless these add only pennies to the cost of the device or obviate the need for MRI's, I see a lot of potential barriers to it being used (especially outside the USA).

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