Does the Recent Breast Implant Recall Have You Questioning Yourself?

Breast implant treatment has typically been part of conversations that felt exciting. Recently, talk of breast implants has leaned a little toward the more serious side. Of course, we believe that it is always a serious matter when a person decides to undergo plastic surgery of any kind. However, part of deciding to change the body or face in some way is imagining how good it will feel to achieve the desired outcome. The recent recall of certain breast implants may not seem like a pleasant topic of discussion, but it is something more people need to talk about. Let’s do that here.

Important Points

If you’ve heard of the breast implant recall, what you may want most is clear, concise information. At a glance, we see a few important points that need to be stated up front:

  • Recalled implants are all within the BioCell Natrelle family of medical devices made by Allergan.
  • The FDA has requested the recall of these devices due to an increased risk of BIA-ALCL, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
  • The fact that certain textured breast implant devices have been recalled does not mean that all textured implants need to be removed.
  • BIA-ALCL has been successfully treated in over 93% of cases.
  • A recall like this can create a strong question about individual health and wellness. A few details that you need to know if you are wondering about breast implant removal are:
  • It has been estimated that only 10% of textured implants have led to BIA-ALCL. Nearly all of them have involved Natrelle textured implants or expanders.
  • Experts do not anticipate that BIA-ALCL will develop in all women who have Natrelle textured breast implants.

What is Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?

Often referred to as BIA-ALCL, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma is a form of lymphoma. It is not breast cancer, it is a disease in the immune system.  BIA-ALCL develops when cells in the fluid around a textured breast implant sustain damage and begin to experience abnormal growth.

Perhaps it is a silver lining that this disease does cause symptoms. This means it can be detected early on, when treatment is most successful. Symptoms of BIA-ALCL include pain and swelling. Additionally, women who develop any change in their breast tissue or shape, including rash, a mass or cyst, and itching, should schedule an exam with their doctor. These symptoms are not a telltale sign of cancer around the breast implant. Further testing such as imaging or taking a sample of the fluid is needed to reach an accurate diagnosis.

Breast augmentation surgery has enjoyed a high success and safety rating for many years. The recent recall does not have to change that in a significant way. If you would like to know more about this recall, what it means for you, or would like to undergo a breast checkup with Dr. Rosenthal, contact our Campbell, CA office at (408) 559-4700.