Breast implants and lymphoma

There was a lot of coverage today of the news that a certain type of lymphoma has been found in a relative few women with breast implants. Much of the coverage, as expected, lacked the actual information put out by the FDA. My particular interest is in doing the right thing for my patients, and additionally making sure that my patients are well educated.

Please feel free to follow this link to FDA white paper that was released, which has an excellent explanation of the information that is currently available. Some key points taken from the FDA report:

”According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly four million breast implant procedures were performed in the United States from 1998 – 2009. The total number of implants worldwide is estimated to be between 5-10 million.”

”In total, the FDA is aware of approximately 60 case reports of ALCL in women with breast implants worldwide. The exact number is difficult to verify because reports from regulatory agencies and scientific experts often duplicate those found in the scientific literature.”

“Health care providers should be aware ALCL in women with breast implants is a very rare condition; when it occurs, it has been identified most frequently in patients undergoing implant revision operations for late onset, persistent seroma. The FDA does not recommend prophylactic breast implant removal in patients without symptoms or other abnormalities.”

”Because the risk of ALCL appears very small, FDA believes that the totality of evidence continues to support a reasonable assurance that FDA-approved breast implants are safe and effective when used as labeled.”

I encourage my patients and the general public to become as educated as possible on this as well as all aspects of any plastic surgery procedure that they are considering. I am happy to review the pros and cons of any and all of the plastic surgery procedures that I perform in Santa Barbara. If you are planning or considering plastic surgery, please feel free to come and have an educational, complementary aesthetic plastic surgery consultation with me to discuss any questions or concerns.

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