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Breast implants are among the most studied of all medical devices. Both silicone and saline implants are FDA-approved, and a very safe way to enhance breast size. That said, recently Allergan has recalled its line of textured implants, causing concern for many women. You should have accurate facts about what this recall means to you.

The Allergan breast implant recall

Allergan, the makers of BIOCELL textured implants, complied with a request from the FDA to issue a voluntary recall the Natrelle line of textured implants and tissue expanders, saline and silicone. A link was identified between textured implants and a very rare immune system cancer, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

What is BIA-ALCL?

BIA-ALCL is an extremely rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma affecting a low percentage of women who have textured implants. BIA-ALCL is not a cancer of the breast tissue, but an immune system cancer that develops in the capsule surrounding the implant, which develops years after breast augmentation surgery. The cause is not yet fully understood.

Dr. Hu and textured implants

Textured implants are far less common in the USA than in Europe, and Dr. Hu, who has performed over 2,000 elective breast surgeries, has placed only smooth implants. If you had textured implants in your breast augmentation from another surgeon and your breasts are doing fine, it is doubtful that you have BIA-ALCL. The FDA does not recommend women who have textured implants and no symptoms – which is the most common situation – have their textured implants replaced. However, some women are choosing to replace textured implants, which is a personal decision.

Who does the Allergan breast implant recall affect?

The recalled textured breast implants include:

  • Natrelle saline-filled breast implants
  • Natrelle silicone-filled breast implants
  • Natrelle Inspira silicone-filled breast implants
  • Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped silicone implants
  • Natrelle 133 Plus Tissue Expander
  • Natrelle 133 Tissue Expander with Suture Tabs.

The recall is a cautionary measure taken by Allergan and should not affect patients who had breast augmentation with these implants. Any patients who have these types of textured implants are asked to continue with regular breast exams and to stay aware of any changes, such as pain and swelling around the implant.

What are textured implants?

Textured implants are both silicone and saline breast implants that have a rougher texture. They were developed to adhere to the tissue and to reduce the risk of capsular contracture. The Allergan brand of textured implants is macro-textured, used on only about five percent of the breast augmentation patients in the United States.

Why are these textured implants recalled and not smooth implants?

Scientists studying the link between BIA-ALCL and textured implants are theorizing that the textured surface may cause ongoing inflammation and a breeding ground for bacteria. While cases of BIA-ALCL are extremely rare, once a link between these macro-textured implants was discovered, Allergan voluntarily recalled the brand. The percentage of cases of BIA-ALCL is low, with current estimates in the range of 1 in 1,000, to 1 in 30,000.

How can I stay safe with breast implants?

Dr. Hu and his professional staff at Valencia Plastic Surgery provide the highest level of patient safety and achieving excellent results in breast augmentation. You can rest assured that at his practice, Dr. Hu will only recommend the safest and highest quality breast implants available. If you received textured implants at another surgical practice and are concerned about your breast implants, please feel free to reach out for a consultation. While it has not been recommended to remove or replace these implants, Dr. Hu will be happy to speak with you honestly and openly about your options.

Breast Implant Safety

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26357 McBean Parkway #215 Valencia, CA 91355-4498

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Valencia Plastic Surgery is conveniently located for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery patients in Valencia, Santa Clarita, and surrounding areas of California.

Dr. Hu is proud to have had the privilege of treating patients from many different states, as well as countries.

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