Subjective Cognitive Functioning in Silicone Breast Implant Patients: A Cohort Study

M.J.L. Colaris*, J.W.C. Tervaert, R.W.H.M. Ponds, J. Wilmink, R.R.W.J. van der Hulst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Cognitive impairment is frequently reported by silicone breast implant (SBI) patients. The aim of our study is to investigate whether subjective cognitive failure indeed is more frequent in a cohort of SBI patients compared with healthy controls (HCs). Furthermore, the severity of this cognitive failure and a possible relation to other symptoms as well as the duration of SBI exposure was examined. In addition, we assessed the effect of ruptures and reinterventions on cognitive failure severity.Methods: A cohort study was performed, including 376 women and consisting of 3 different groups of patients; 143 SBI patients (group 1), 94 age- and sex-matched HC patients (group 2), and 139 women with SBI and health issues who registered themselves at a Dutch foundation for women with illness due to SBI (group 3). All patients filled in the Cognitive Failure Questionnaire (CFQ). The American College of Rheumatology Fibromyalgia Diagnostic Criteria (2010) were used to score other symptoms.Results: Completed CFQ data from 222 patients were available for analysis: n = 79 for group 1, n = 62 for group 2, and n = 81 for group 3. SBI patients from group 3 had a significantly higher prevalence of subjective cognitive dysfunction (CFQ score >= 43) compared with SBI patients from group 1 and HC (60.5% versus 13.9% and 12.9%; P = 0.000). Linear regression showed a statistically significant relation between subjective cognitive functioning scores and other symptoms (P = 0.000). Implant duration as well as rupture rate and reinterventions were not found to significantly influence CFQ scores.Conclusion: An increased risk of cognitive failure in consecutive SBI patients when compared with HCs could not be found.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3394
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021



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