In July, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) called for a review into all textured breast implants, with the possibility of a ban. The review was called as the result of an apparent association between some textured implants and a rare form of lymphoma (blood cancer) called Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIAALCL). Following this review, implant manufacturer Allergan issued a worldwide recall of its
textured breast implants and tissue expanders from the market.
This means that these expanders and implants are no longer able to be used in breast reconstruction or breast augmentation surgery anywhere in the world.
The risk of breast implant associated lymphoma is rare – approximately 1 in 2,000 women will develop the condition. As a result, surgeons and health experts are not recommending removal of breast implants where there are no problems with the implant.
However, we understand this news has made many women anxious. BCNA advises women who have had implant-based reconstructions to talk to their breast surgeon, plastic surgeon or the hospital where their surgery was performed to find out whether textured or smooth implants were used. The recall does not affect smooth breast implants.
Women who notice any sudden changes around their implant, such as new swelling or a lump, should notify their doctor.
BCNA has been closely monitoring this issue and worked with Cancer Council Australia to provide a submission to the TGA on behalf of our members. This submission highlights several issues, including:
The TGA has prioritised the review. It is expected to take several months to consider all submissions and decide if any regulatory action is taken. In the meantime, BCNA will keep our members up to date via our website, social media and our monthly Network News email newsletter.