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U.S. Experts Are Taking Another Look at Breast Implant Safety After New Health Concerns

U.S medical authorities are taking another look at the safety of breast implants. An expert panel assembled by the Food and Drug Administration started a two-day meeting Monday to take a look at the potential health effects of the implants, specifically the latest evidence of illness and complications associated with them, The Associated Press reports.

Roughly 300,000 women currently get breast impacts as a form of elective cosmetic surgery each year, while another 100,000 women use implants for breast reconstruction after cancer surgery each year, according to the AP.

During the two-day event, which was announced last year, the panel is expected to speak to researchers, as well as patients and plastic surgeons, about breast implants, after which it will potentially recommend next steps. It comes as many women with implants have complained that they have caused chronic health issues such as chronic fatigue and rheumatoid arthritis, and some experts think that certain implants could be linked to a specific type of cancer.

Last year, the EU declined to renew approval for implants sold by Allergan, arguing that the product has links to a specific type of lymphoma caused by implants. The lymphoma is typically slow spreading. Last week, the FDA sent warning letters to the companies Mentor and Sientra. The FDA said Mentor did not enroll enough patients in its long-term studies tracking the safety of their devices, while Sientra had low follow-up rates.

The FDA has long considered breast implants generally safe for women, provided they have been advised about potential complications such as scarring and swelling.