REGARDING THE FDA UPDATE FROM MAY 2, 2019
A few of our international counterparts have started to initiate actions to ban or restrict sales of some textured breast implants, based on concerns about BIA-ALCL. In those markets, there are textured implants that are not marketed in the U.S. and where the use of textured implants is much higher, sometimes as high as 80% market share. In 2018, textured breast implants represented less than 10% of breast implants sold in the U.S. The type of macro-textured implants targeted by some of our international counterparts represents less than 5% of breast implants sold here. At this time, the FDA does not believe that, on the basis of all available data and information, the device meets the banning standard set forth in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The FDA believes regulatory action must be based on scientific data. While the majority of women who develop BIA-ALCL have had textured implants, there are known cases in women with smooth-surface breast implants and many reports do not include the surface texture of the implant at the time of diagnosis. We are focused on strengthening the evidence generated to help inform future regulatory actions and to assure that women and providers are adequately informed of the risk of BIA-ALCL, including that the risk is higher with the use of textured implants, albeit still low. We are still investigating the cause of the association and we will continue to monitor, assess and report our findings as we continue to strengthen our evidence collected so that women and providers can be better informed about BIA-ALCL as they consider breast implants.
REGARDING THE FDA UPDATE FROM MARCH 25-26, 2019
The FDA’s General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel on March 25-26 focused on the topic of MRI screening for silent rupture of silicone gel-filled implants. The panel ultimately made recommendations on MRI screening, suggesting removal of the agency’s current MRI screening recommendations. to instead adopt recommendations that screening begin between five and six years after surgery, and then every two-to-three years after that.
Additionally, alternatives to MRI were discussed, with the panel recommending ultrasound as an acceptable method for screening asymptomatic patients. For symptomatic patients and patient who have equivocal ultrasound results. the panel recommended MRI for detection of ruptures.
Snyder, P. (2019, April 22). Years of collaboration, months of preparation boost ASPS at FDA hearings. Retrieved from https://www.plasticsurgery.org/for-medical-professionals/education-and-resources/publications/psn-extra/news/years-of-collaboration-months-of-preparation-boost-asps-at-fda-hearings
REGARDING THE FDA UPDATE FROM FEBRUARY 6, 2019
“Though the FDA indicates it has received 39 reports associated with smooth surfaces, to date there have been no confirmed smooth surface-only cases reports to PROFILE.”- excerpt from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), “FDA issues 2019 update on BIA-ALCL”
The anecdotal experience of many plastic surgeons, including myself… (Dr. Spiro)
There are many women who have undergone multiple breast implant surgeries. A significant percentage of these patients do not know the specifics of their implant history. It is suspected that a number of these patients have not only had prior textured surface implants but also did not undergo capsulectomy (removal of the scar layer of the original textured implant), but rather only a simple removal and replacement procedure.
This subset of women who ultimately changed to smooth surface implants without capsulectomy may not have fully reduced their risks of later development of BIA-ALCL. This may in part explain the 39 case reports with smooth surface implants.
Breast Implant Frequently Asked Questions
A: The choice of implant type is ultimately a decision between an educated patient and her board-certified plastic surgeon. There may be certain circumstances where a textured implant is recommended for particular patients.
All patients should have a detailed conversation with their surgeon about the risks associated with textured implants, beyond what is published online or in pamphlet. Ultimately, there are instances where textured implants are the best choice for them.
A: There are two primary reasons your surgeon may have recommended textured surface breast implants. First is that some data has shown a lower rate of capsular contracture (firm scar tissue formation around the implant). Second, all teardrop or anatomic shaped implants have a textured surface to help hold them in place. Some surgeons believe these implants can offer an enhanced shape for certain patients, perhaps with a reduced risk of rippling.
A: The available data does not support discontinuance of textured implants. The best practice is always for the physician to discuss with each patient the known risks and potential complications associated with any procedure. It is important for the patient and her doctor to frankly discuss all options available, and the risks involved.
A: Since BIA-ALCL has only been found with textured breast implants, smooth implant patients do not need to be concerned. For textured implant patients, neither the FDA nor any plastic surgery society currently recommends that women should preventatively remove textured breast implants to prevent BIA-ALCL. However, there are women who have been concerned enough about BIA-ALCL and have chosen to have their implants removed. There are some women who were already considering a breast implant revision, and the BIA-ALCL issue gave them one more reason to decide to proceed.
A: There is no blood test to specifically screen for BIA-ALCL. The expert opinion is that asymptomatic women without breast changes do not require more than routine mammograms and breast exams. But if a patient experiences a change in her breasts – especially if there is swelling or a lump – she should undergo immediate examination, imaging, and consultation with a plastic surgeon. If there is fluid around the implant the fluid should be aspirated under ultrasound guidance and sent for analysis.
A: The Mollenkopf Aesthetic Breast Reconstruction Fund and the BIA-ALCL Patient Assistance Fund can offer financial assistance to patients. Additionally, Sientra offers to cover lab testing for any seromas associated with their implants.