15 Jul Textured Implants Ban – What does this mean for me?
Last Thursday, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recommended banning textured breast implants following a review into their links to a rare form of cancer.
The TGA proposed cancelling, suspending and recalling a number of textured implant models over strong evidence that they were associated with a higher risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). ALCL is a rare cancer of the immune system that develops in the fluid and scar tissue around implants.
The TGA recommended banning nine Allergan ‘Natrelle’ implant models, and suspending a number of implants manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, Adirel, Emagin, Emergo, Euro Implants and JT Medical. It also has suggested conditions placed on Allergan’s ‘BRST’ models, two Emagin models and two JT Medical models.
Dr Scamp does not use any of the above implants, nor does he use any textured breast implants at all. For a number of years now, he has exclusively used Motiva smooth implants due to their high safety profile, since they became available in Australia.
Implants that have a smooth wall, including the Motiva implants, have the lowest risk profile of all with no cases currently linked to patients who have only had these implant types.
“The Motiva implant is designed in such a way to be as biocompatible as possible and has minimal reaction of the soft tissues to the wall of the implant and so the immune response is not turned on,” says Dr Scamp. “With textured implants we see the surrounding tissues become inflamed to some extent, which is thought to cause ALCL. With the Motiva implants, we just don’t see that reaction.”
It is important to know the symptoms of breast implant associated cancer. The most common symptom is swelling of a breast caused by fluid build-up around the implant. But it is important to note that the majority of women with this swelling will simply have reactive inflammatory fluid , not ALCL. The diagnosis is made by drawing off some fluid under ultrasound control and examining this fluid. Get to know the normal look and feel of your breasts. Self-examine your breasts regularly, such as in the bath or shower, and include your armpits and up to your collarbone.
If you think there are any changes, or if you have any concerns, see your doctor.
Breast implant associated cancer is rare, but the risk is higher with textured breast implants. If you do not remember whether your implants are smooth or textured, or what brand they are, your surgeon or the clinic that holds your operation record should be able to advise you on these details.
When a patient with textured implants decides that it is time to remove and replace their breast implant, our practice has been to shift them to a lower risk profile implant. It is also possible to just perform the removal procedure without replacing the implants. Sometimes in the older age group, weight gain over the years has seen a natural increase in breast size and therefore an implant may no longer be necessary. In this group, simple removal with or without a breast lift may create a satisfactory breast appearance without the need for the extra assistance of a breast implant.
We are always here to provide the relevant information and utilise our years of expertise to help patients make informed decisions. Please call the clinic if you have any concerns over your breast implants on 07 5539 1000.