Posted: March 3, 2018

The FDA has just issued an update to its prior advisory on the association of a certain kind of breast implant and the development of Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma at the site of the implant.   As of September, 2017 over 400 cases of this rare cancer had been reported to the FDA.  They were largely confined to a certain type of implant, so-called textured implants, referring to the surface of the implant, and by assumption, its ability to irritate the surrounding breast tissue.  Fortunately most of these have been cured with removal of the implant and minimal cancer therapy; however a handful of deaths have been reported.   In its advisory the FDA makes the point that women who develop this condition have obvious symptoms, and they are not recommending that all women with textured implants have them removed.

Dr. Stark comments, “This is another example of the law of unintended consequences.  When you mess with mother nature you never know what trouble you create.  Fortunately this complication is rare.  Unfortunately no profile of the women so affected has been created, so women don’t know the risk factors.   If I were about to get a breast implant, however, I would not choose a textured model.”