What do recent studies say about Breast Implant Illness?
It has been suggested in the news that silicone breast implants can increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, scleroderma, and sarcoidosis. However, the FDA has not able to demonstrate a direct relationship between silicone implants and autoimmune diseases.
So, which is it?
Let’s start with what we do know. Scientists have identified that some textured implants may be more susceptible to a rare type of cancer known as breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). They believe that the greater surface area of textured implants allow certain types of bacterial infection to form. The FDA first identified a possible association between breast implants and the development of ALCL in 2011.
Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the cells of the immune system. Although most commonly found in breasts, it is not breast cancer and is not related to breast implant illness.
It should also be noted that ALCL is very rare, with a reported 1 in 30,000 women being diagnosed.
As of March 2019, the FDA isn't proposing any new restrictions or warnings and the agency's longstanding position is that implants are essentially safe if women understand they have complications. These complications can include
Studies into the matter however, will continue regarding auto immune reactions in conjunction with breast implants. The FDA released the following statement:
"We believe the current evidence, although limited, suggests some individuals may be predisposed to develop an immune-inflammatory reaction when exposed to select materials," the agency said in a statement.
What are the signs of “Breast Implant Illness?”
It is important to alert your surgeon if you have;
How to prevent “Breast Implant Illness?
As your surgeon will tell you in your consultation, breast implants do not have an infinite lifespan and may need to be replaced. You will also need to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions carefully to help minimise your risk of complications post-surgery. It is important to monitor your breasts closely, as you would if you did not have implants, for lumps, changes or anything unusual.
It is extremely important to see your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your breasts or health, especially if you experience signs of infection.
All of your questions can be answered in full by Specialist Surgeon Dr Mark Hanikeri in your initial consultation. To book an appointment in Perth, Murdoch, Bunbury or Albany please call 08 9380 0311.
LATEST NEWS UPDATE
Statement in response to media coverage on the Medical Journal of Australia’s paper on Breast implant associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA- ALCL)