Members of the medical community have been searching for an inexpensive but effective way to detect breast implant ruptures. One such development is Novalert, a dime-sized microchip that is attached to an implant before it is inserted into the body. To assess the integrity of the implant shell and determine if there is free silicone within the breast (outside of the implant), Novalert uses a reading device that is placed outside the body, over an implant outfitted with the chip; and in the event of a rupture, the device will indicate so.
Currently, the FDA recommends that women with silicone implants undergo MRI screenings every two years, beginning in the third year after placement, at an out-of-pocket cost of $2,000 per screening. The doctors working on Novalert believe it will offer a less expensive (experts estimate the device would add about $100 to the price of each implant), and more accurate alternative to MRI, which, in rare cases, can give false-positive results that could lead to unnecessary surgery. They hope to receive FDA market approval for the device within the next two years.
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