Breast Implant Recall

 In ReconstructiveProcedures

You may have heard of or received a recall from Allergan Company, one of the makers of breast implants. The FDA asked Allergan to recall all textured implants and tissue expanders and stop using them. I would like to inform and clarify for you the status and origin of this recall.

This was on August 7th, 2019 and all textured Allergan breast implants were recalled because of the incidence of a type of cancer associated with these implants. Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or BIA-ALCL is a rare type of cancer seen initially in Europe and now in the United States of a few hundred cases which have been linked to the use of textured breast implants or tissue expanders. This is a very rare cancer and can be treated when caught early on. The FDA does not recommend removal or replacement of textured breast implants or tissue expanders in asymptomatic patients.

The important thing to know is for any of you who have had or now have textured (fuzzy coated) implants or tissue expanders – there is nothing you need to do as long as you are not having changes in your breasts. These changes you would watch for would be fluid collections seen on mammography or ultrasound, or swelling of the breast you may notice. Other symptoms would be lumps, masses or changes in breast shape or size or changes in symmetry. Almost all implants that I have placed for cosmetic patients are smooth, not textured. The risk of developing this cancer for those with smooth breast implants, is very, very small. For you that have had smooth breast implants, just being informed is the important thing as the connection to this cancer for you is very remote. Feel free to contact us for questions you may have. An excellent resource for you is www.plasticsurgery.org/alcl.

-Jon Bishop MD

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