Breast Implants and the Measles Vaccine

Crystal Hefner, Hugh Hefner’s current wife, was in the news recently for electing to have her massive breast implants removed.  Now, most plastic surgeons don’t keep track of Playboy Bunnies’ implant status, but Ms. Hefner’s contention that she was being “slowly poisoned by her implants” has caught the profession’s attention.  Cosmetic breast augmentation is performed to make the woman happy, so if they no longer please her, no one would criticize her.  However, if a prominent woman chooses to remove her implants for irrational reasons and goes public with her decision, it may adversely influence other women’s decisions.  Crystal Hefner decided to have her implants removed after reading on Facebook that other women with aches and pains, fatigue, allergies, and thyroid dysfunction attributed their symptoms to breast implants.  In 2012 Crystal announced she had the same symptoms that she then said were caused by chronic Lyme disease, even though she could not recall ever having been bitten by a tick.

Forget the numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers evaluating thousands of women that proved that there was no association between the presence of breast implants and any collagen vascular or autoimmune disease.  Forget the findings of the Institute of Medicine confirming that silicone breast implants do not pose an increased risk of cancer or autoimmune diseases.  Why should well-controlled medical studies be given more weight than the musings of Facebook followers?

Crystal Hefner thinking brings to mind Jenny McCarthy, the adult film actress who has a son with autism.  In spite of the volumes of scientific studies showing no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism, Ms. McCarthy and her fellow anti-vaxxers continue to believe that the vaccine their children received caused their autism.

People are free to make their own medical decisions-informed or not.  They should not allow their celebrity to influence other people to make uniformed choices.  This would include removing breast implants that are not causing them any harm.

We wish Crystal Hefner the best of health.