The Elephant in the Room: What to Know About the Breast Implant Recall
- Posted on: Sep 15 2019
Recalls happen. Governing agencies may recall toys, parts on automobiles, food, and several other items. Usually, we don’t pay too much attention to these events. They seem to happen somewhere else to someone else, not to us. For many women, the recent recall on certain textured implants may not be so easy to navigate. If you have breast implants, we understand your concern. We want to provide you with as much peace of mind as we can. Here, we want to look straight at the elephant in the room and discuss its finite details and what they may mean for you.
The FDA has only recalled a limited range of breast implants. All BioCell textured implants are a part of the Natrelle line. These include Natrelle:
- Saline breast implants
- Silicone breast implants
- Inspira Silicone-Filled breast implants
- 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Filled breast implants
Additionally, the 133 Plus tissue expander and 133 Plus tissue expander with suture tabs have also been included in the FDA’s requested recall.
The reason for this recall is that the FDA has deemed the risk of breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) substantial enough to take BioCell textured implants off the market. The agency came to this conclusion over several years of analysis. At the time of the recall, there were 573 global cases of BIA-ALCL reported. Of those, 481 included Biocell implants by Allergan. The analysis has not found sufficient evidence to suggest that other brands of textured implants pose risks great enough to warrant a more widespread recall.
Do Implants Need to be Removed?
Now for the big question. If you have breast implants, you may be wondering if you should have them removed. The choice is very personal, we understand, and we support each of our patients in their decision to keep or remove their implants.
The only instance in which breast implant removal is suggested at this time is when symptoms of BIA-ALCL have developed. The signs are easy to spot. One breast may look noticeably larger than the other and will feel uncomfortable due to fluid accumulation. When these symptoms occur, patients are advised to see their plastic surgeon, who can obtain a sample of the fluid that has collected in the breast capsule. The fluid is examined for evidence of cancer cells.
What Happens if BIA-ALCL develops?
In many cases, cancer can be treated with surgery that removes the breast implant and the capsular tissue. Chemotherapy may be needed if cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes. Understandably, discovering this rare form of lymphoma can feel frightening. Statistics indicate that 93% of treated women continue to be disease-free three years after their explantation and, if needed, chemotherapy. That is an excellent statistic!
Breast implants are supposed to make you feel more at home and in love with your body. They are not intended to make you live in fear for your health. The recent recall of a limited line of textured breast implants is not cause for major alarm. Continue to do your breast exams and get screened with mammography, and talk with your doctor if you experience any abnormal breast sensations.
Do you want to talk more about the breast implant recall and how it may affect you? Call 713.271.9000 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Altamira.
Posted in: Breast Augmentation