This week was exceptionally stressful for women out there who have breast implants. There are several hundred patients each year just in America who have breast implant surgery. As you know from your surgical consent forms, there are risks to having these foreign objects put into your body. However, the benefits of fuller, shapelier and perkier breasts outweigh those risks for most. But this week one of the major implant manufacturers – Allergan – voluntarily removed Biocell textured implants from the market.
The majority of implants are not recalled. One of the risks of implants -is capsular contracture – or firmness from scar tissue that shrinks the pocket. The implant manufacturers have a way to theoretically reduce the incidence of this complication. The mechanism alters the surface of the silicone or saline implant – that is otherwise smooth silicone – to produce texture.
In other words instead of a smooth silicone shell holding a highly cohesive silicone polymer – the surface of the otherwise smooth implant is roughened. In our office usually, during the consultation we allow the patient to handle and evaluate the various types of implants – including the ones with texture. I rarely if ever use implants that have texture. 99% of our patients have smooth implants.
CANCER FROM TEXTURED IMPLANTS OR SMOOTH
In the 90s, the evaluation of breast implants results as a possible cause for cancer. And after several years of study, it was universally determined that – as a rule, silicone breast implants did not cause cancer nor any other clearly associated disease. Silicone both the shell and contents are inert substances – and therefore silicone implants were returned to the market without major restrictions. There does exist today however a tracking mechanism that will enable plastic surgeons and federal agencies to more closely monitor individuals with breast implants.
BIOCELL TEXTURED IMPLANTS
Breast implant-associated anapestic large cell lymphoma – is a type of cancer-related to areas of the body
not directly within the breast tissue. However, there have been over 500 cases of this lymphoma in women
who have Biocell implants with texture. This is a specific product of Allergen – the manufacturer.
None of their other products have been implicated in this disease. Approximately 10% of implant surgeries use implants with texture in both Europe and the United States The deaths from this disease are 33 out of 573 cases.
NOT ALL IMPLANTS CONTAIN BIOCELL
The bottom line is if you do not have any symptoms there’s no need to remove your implants. However, if you believe you have implants with texture I would double-check with your surgeon and possibly present yourself for an examination including blood tests to determine if you may have this disorder. The food and drug administration does not recommend everyone removing all implants with texture.
Again if you have anything but implants with a texture you’re not at risk. As I said earlier in the blog the overwhelming majority of my patients have smooth implants.
If you need to remove or replace your implants with texture – Allergen has a program set aside to cover some of the costs.
TESTING FORLYMPHOMA INCLUDES.
Physical exam – checking for swollen lymph nodes especially in the armpit and in the neck.
Check for swollen liver and spleen.
Removing a lymph node and checking it for disease.
Possibly even a bone marrow test.
Certain types of diagnostic imaging.
Review your implant cards and check with your Operating Surgeon to determine if you have Biocell implants with texture. Your implant card should give the information.
Hope this helps.