What Should You Do If You Have Textured Surfaced Breast Implants

A “gummy bear” implant which has a textured surface

 

Over the last several months there has been information in the news and online related to concerns and possible dangers of textured surfaced breast implants. In fact, one company that manufactures breast implants, Allergan, has recalled all their textured surfaced breast implants and tissue expanders as of this past July.

What does this all mean?

If you have textured surfaced breast implants, either saline or silicone, do you need to do anything?

Should you be worried?

What this is all about is an extremely rare association that has been discovered between textured surfaced breast implants and the occurrence of BIA-ALCL (breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma). You can read about this particular disease elsewhere but suffice it to say that it is essentially fully treatable when diagnosed early and treated appropriately. Of note, this same lymphoma has also been seen in association with dental and orthopedic implants.

Though this disease has been seen in women who have had textured surfaced implants from a variety of different manufacturers, it had been discovered that the rate of occurrence was six times higher in those who had Allergan’s textured surfaced ones that are under the proprietary name BIOCELL®.

Given this information, Allergan voluntarily decided to “recall” all their textured implants and tissue expanders. What this meant is that all of Allergan’s manufactured but not implanted products were to be removed from the marketplace immediately and sent back to the company.

The implant recall does NOT mean in any way that those women who already have textured implants and are having no relevant issues have to have them removed.

The position of all the major plastic surgery societies including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) is that the risks, etc. associated with implant removal are far greater than the relatively infinitesimal risk of developing BIA-ALCL.

If you would like more information on this recall including products involved and answers to any relevant questions, click here.

Despite this information and the extreme rarity of this disease, there are women who still are anxious or concerned about having these implants in their bodies.

For these individuals and possibly others, Allergan has proactively created a BIOCELL® Replacement Warranty. You can download the pdf for the warranty directly from this page where it is listed as US Warranty Information. This program will allow you to replace your textured surfaced implants with smooth ones that the company will provide you free of charge. However, they will not cover any other expenses associated with the implant exchange.

All Allergan breast implant patients, however, are covered by their Natrelle® ConfidencePlus® Warranty. Under this warranty, those women who have findings or concerns for which BIA-ALCL needs to be tested for are provided financial assistance of up to $1000. In the rare situation where there is a positive diagnosis, the company provides financial assistance of up to $7500 for the breast implant removal and capsulectomies.

If you would like some additional information on this, you can visit Allergan’s website or contact your plastic surgeon.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona