Important Information About the Allergan BIOCELL Breast Implant Recall
In mid-2019 certain BIOCELL textured breast implants and tissue expanders from Allergan were recalled following research showing a potential increased risk of a certain type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is a cancer that affects the lymphatic or immune system.
At issue were reports showing women with these implants having a six times higher risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma, BIA-ALCL, than women with similar textured implants made by other manufacturers. Earlier this year, the FDA and Allergan have worked together in trying to reach the many women with BIOCELL textured breast implants who may not know about these risks.
What to Do Next
When evaluating what to do next we must take guidance from the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. Currently, guidance suggests that women with the BIOCELL textured implants should not have them removed if they are not experiencing symptoms. Rather, patients should be screened on a schedule determined by their doctor and be on the lookout for BIA-ALCL symptoms which include:
- Breast enlargement
- Breast hardening
- Persistent pain
- A lump in the breast or armpit
- Fluid collection surrounding the implant
- And more…
This form of cancer has typically been diagnosed between seven and nine years after the implant was placed and symptoms have appeared between six months and 26 years after implant placement.
Why Not Remove Them?
A breast implant exchange or swap should only be considered if you are experiencing symptoms of BIA-ALCL or any other condition that may support the removal of your breast implants. Some of our patients want to modify the size of their implants – larger or smaller or revise their implants to look more natural in shape and size. These are also valid reasons to exchange implants.
However, the risk of BIA-ALCL is very low, with Allergan estimating its occurrence at less than .03% of patients with the BIOCELL textured breast implant. Further, when caught early, this form of cancer is very treatable. As a result, the risk of additional surgery may be higher than the overall risk of developing complications due to breast implants causing no complications.
Register Your Implants
If you do not know the manufacture or type of implant do you currently have, be sure to speak to your surgeon and use the resources that the FDA and Allergan have made available to confirm this information. If you do in fact have the BIOCELL textured implants and tissue expanders, you should register at the Allergan website for updated information as it becomes available: You can do so here: https://www.biocellinformation.com/contact
In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns about your implants or if you are considering an implant exchange.
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