Today, Breast Implants come in different shapes, sizes and materials. For experienced board certified plastic surgeons, these are exciting options that provide us with the opportunity to customize your look and maximize your results. However, for patients, too many options can sometimes lead to overload and confusion. Today’s post will help navigate through the alternatives available for breast augmentation. There is no substitute for an in-person consultation appointment with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Until then, the following is a brief introduction to the currently available breast implant options to get you started on your way.
Breast Implant Fillers – Silicone Vs. Saline
These breast augmentation before and after pictures show results using silicone gel breast implants. (Click image for uncensored view.)
All breast implants have silicone shells and are classified as either silicone gel or saline depending on the filler. The current Silicone Gel Breast Implants are more popular than saline because today’s Silicone Gel is highly cohesive. This extra high strength gel is safer and more predictable because it does not flow. It supports the shape of the breast implant shell while remaining soft to the touch. Consequently, silicone gel filled breast implants have a lower incidence of rippling when compared with saline. They are also available in a greater variety of sizes, shapes and profiles. Moreover, my patients who have had both silicone and saline filled breast implants, prefer the look and feel of silicone implants.
Saline Breast Implants are also excellent devices. Saline is water with 0.9% salt (NaCl) added to make the solution as salty as we are. It is the same fluid we administer intravenously for hydration during emergencies and as a delivery medium for medications during surgery. Saline breast implants also come in a variety of shapes, sizes and profiles, but they tend to be more palpable and have a higher incidence of rippling (visible wrinkling). An advantage of saline is that it is much simpler to tell when a saline breast implant deflates. If a hole develops in the implant’s shell, the saline empties quickly and completely. Conversely, highly cohesive gel, with is found inside silicone breast implants (gummy bear implants), maintains its shape and fullness, even when there is a hole in the shell.
Breast Implant Shape – Round Vs. Teardrop
The final shape of the augmented breast is determined to a greater extent by the shape of the natural breast than by the shape of the breast implant. Most women already have most of their breast tissue in the lower pole of their breasts. Thanks to gravity, the majority of the breast implants’s volume also fills the lower half of the breast, so round implants do not necessarily mean round breasts.
Unlike shaped implants, round implants are axially symmetrical. That means round breast implants can spin without affecting the shape of the breast. For shaped breast implants, rotation is a significant problem. To help prevent rotation, shaped implants have a textured surface. The rough surface attaches to the inside of the capsule like Velcro®, hopefully preventing rotation. Unfortunately, texturing may also increase the risk of rippling and double capsules.
Shaped implants may be beneficial after a mastectomy and in congenital cases when the breast does not fully develop. Any likely benefit needs to be evaluated against the risks on an individual basis. Texturing is discussed later in this article.
Breast Implant Profile – Low, Medium, High Vs. Extra High
The above breast augmentation before and after pictures show breast augmentation with high profile silicone gel breast implants. (Click image for uncensored view.)
The greatest innovation in implant shape has been the introduction of multiple breast implant profiles. Selecting the best profile often causes confusion, but hopefully this will help simplify the selection process. High profiles have greater projection for a fixed diameter. That means for a fixed width, high profiles are rounder and fuller. This means they are larger and project out from the chest more. My patients all want rounder, fuller breasts, but unless they are looking for maximum size, not everyone is a good candidate for high profile breast implants.
It’s easier to consider profile in terms of the diameter of the implant rather than how round it is because the base diameter of your breasts are fixed. They can’t be changed. The base diameter is an objective dimension that is easily determined during your consultation appointment. All it takes is a tape measure. From this measurement, the optimal diameter of your breast implant is determined. If the implant is too wide, it sticks out too far under the armpits. If the implant is too narrow, the cleavage gap between the breast implants is increased. The breast implant diameter is very important, objective and easy to determine.
To determine the best profile, we need two pieces of information. One is the measured breast diameter. The other is your goal size – i.e. the size you would like to be after breast augmentation because this determines the volume required for you breast implants. The volume of your natural breast tissue plus the volume of the breast implant determines the final size of the breasts. In other words, the goal size minus your current breast size equals the volume of the required breast implant.
Since the goal size is subjective, it is worth doing some homework. A good way to try on different sizes is to fill Zip-Lock® bags with rice and place them inside the bra you would like to wear after augmentation. Often, patients bring their optimal rice bags with them to the office to convey their desired result. It can be very helpful. Once we have determined your goal size and the base diameter of the breast is measured, we can choose the profile that fits the bill. All measurements and profiles should be confirmed with in-person guidance from an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.
Breast Implant Size – Too Small, Too Large Vs. Just Right
These breast augmentation before and after pictures show the front view for breast augmentation using saline breast implants. (Click image for uncensored view.)
Choosing the correct breast implant volume is the most difficult aspect of breast implant selection. Everyone wants to be big enough, but not too big. I’ve had it described in many ways from noticeable, but guys should still make eye contact, to celebrity but not porn star. It all very subjective. Your “ideal” may not be mine, or your friends, so you need to be honest with yourself. If you give your board certified plastic surgeon a good idea of your goal size is, you have a much better chance of being satisfied with your final result. Wearing padded bras, using rice bags, sizers or bringing pictures to your consultation appointment all aid in size determination. Once I know what size a patient wants, the rest is measuring and math, and I like math.
Breast Implant Texture – Smooth Vs. Textured
I have always been a fan of smooth breast implants, primarily because of the excellent results they provide for my patients. They are simple, predictable and reliable, and for most patients they feel softer yet still give a teardrop shaped result. For cases of recurrent capsular contracture or when shaped implants are indicated, then texturing may provide an advantage, but recently texturing has been associated with an additional risk.
Textured Breast Implants have been in the news a lot lately, and in the future, some texturing may no longer be an option. Just this week, Allergan® voluntarily recalled its Biocell® textured breast implants from the world market. Biocell® was the most aggressive texturing and has an increased association with breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Of the 573 cases of BIA-ALCL, 481 are reported to have Allergan® textured breast implants at the time of diagnosis.
This may seem like a lot of BIA-ALCL cases; however, there are millions of breast implant patients. If you have textured breast implants, your risk of developing BIA-ALCL is 1 in 20,000 or 0.005%. If you have Biocell® textured breast implants, your risk of developing BIA-ALCL is 1 in 3345 or 0.02%. By comparison, the risk of developing breast cancer is one in eight or 12.5%. Biocell® textured implants manufactured by Allergan®, represent less than 5% of breast implants sold in the U.S. In fact, textured implants account for only 10% of all breast implants sold in the US.
It is important to note that Allergan smooth and Microcell® breast implants are not impacted by the recent recall. If you do have Allergan® Biocell® textured breast implants and have no symptoms, the FDA does not recommend the removal of these or other types of breast implants due to the low risk of developing BIA-ALCL. If you have any questions, talk to your health care provider. If you have breast swelling, especially if it is one sided, or any other symptoms of BIA-ALCL, it is important to seek prompt medical follow-up with a board certified plastic surgeon for further testing. Like most medical problems, early diagnosis is associated with increased cure rates.
Breast Implant Makers/Warranties – Allergan®, Mentor® Vs. Sientra®
Sientra®, Allergan®, Mentor® and Ideal® are the four FDA approved breast implant manufacturers in the United States. Sientra® manufactures their implants in the US and only makes silicone gel filled breast implants. Allergan® and Mentor® make both Silicone and Saline filled breast implants, and Ideal® makes only saline filled breast implants. These are the only FDA approved breast implant companies in the US.
All US manufacturers of Breast Implants have breast implant warranties. The details vary between companies. I try to keep the latest information on my website’s Breast Implant Warranties Page, but for the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check with your implant’s manufacturer.
Breast Augmentation Consultations
To schedule a personalized Breast Implant Consultation, call (925) 943-6353 today. An in-person consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon can help you focus on the options specific to your needs and can save you a lot of time when considering Breast Augmentation.
Year after year, Breast Augmentation remains the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in the United States. This is true in the San Francisco Bay Area also. Common reasons include congenitally small or misshapen breasts and changes in the breasts seen after weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Today, we will review a few examples.
Breast Implants For Breast Augmentation And Lifts
Breast Augmentation Lift for Tubular Breasts adds volume and improves the shape of the breasts. (To view uncensored before and after photos, click on the image.)
Breast Implants are used for Breast Augmentation, either alone or in combination with a Breast Lift (Mastopexy) for Augmentation Mastopexy. The implants provide volume while the lift improves the shape, elevates the nipples and reduces skin redundancy.
The before and after pictures at the top of this post are of Breast Augmentation with a Breast Lift. In the above case, Augmentation Mastopexy was used to enlarge and reshape a congenital breast deformity named Tubular Breasts. In addition, Areola Reduction was included in the Mastopexy to prevent the areolae from expanding with the Breast Augmentation.
Breast Implants For Breast Augmentation
Breast Augmentation Before and After Pictures: Breast Implants alone are enough to enlarge the breasts and improve their shape when we are starting with “normal” anatomy. (To view uncensored before and after photos, click on the image.)
The above case in simpler than the first. In this case, the patient has normal anatomy. The nipples are in a more ideal location, the breast skin has good tone and there is no excess skin causing sagging. A lift was not needed, so straight-forward Breast Augmentation was performed via an incision under the breasts via the IMF (inframammary fold). The scar is hidden in the shadow under the breast.
Breast Implants For Asymmetrical Breast Augmentation
Breast Augmentation before and after pictures: Breast Implants are used to enlarge and improve breast asymmetry. (To view uncensored before and after photos, click on the image.)
Asymmetry is as challenging as it is common. The third case is an example of Asymmetrical Breast Augmentation. The right breast is smaller and higher than the left breast. In these cases, a larger implant can be placed behind the smaller breast to balance the volume disparity. Additionally, the right IMF was lowered to match the left breast. The right nipple follows, to further improve symmetry. Larger asymmetry can sometimes require a Breast Lift or Breast Reduction on the larger size for the best results.
Breast Augmentation Consultations
As you can see from the examples above, breasts are like snowflakes; no two are exactly alike. In fact, a woman’s breasts are more like sisters than twins, and each requires careful individual evaluation. In the San Francisco Bay Area call (925) 943-6353, to schedule your personal Breast Augmentation Consultation. We have the experience, certifications and the latest technology in breast implants for you.
Breast Augmentation with Breast Lift (Mastopexy Augmentation) and Tummy Tuck. Breast Enlargement when the breasts are sagging and the nipples are below the inframammary fold requires a Breast Lift to achieve an aesthetic result. The Tummy Tuck further enhances the breasts’ proportion by flattening the belly.
The Components Of Breast Enhancement
Breast Enhancement surgery has two aesthetic components: size and shape. Breast size is increased with Breast Augmentation and reduced with Breast Reduction. Breast shape is adjusted with the Breast Lift. There are many options for adjusting both size and shape, and today’s video is an introduction to the most versatile of all the Cosmetic Breast Enhancement procedures, Mastopexy Augmentation — the combination of Breast Augmentation and Breast Lift procedures.
Breast Augmentation With Breast Lift Video (Mastopexy Augmentation)
This Mastopexy Augmentation Video is from my Body Beautiful television show, originally broadcast on the San Francisco Bay Area’s News Station, KRON 4. It reviews the techniques and options available for different types of Breast Augmentation With Breast Lift.
Indications For A Breast Lift With Augmentation
The majority of Breast Augmentation patients do not need a lift, but here are 5 reasons why your Plastic Surgeon may be recommended adding a Breast Lift (Mastopexy) to Breast Augmentation:
Breast sagging (ptosis)
Low set nipples
Tubular breast deformity
Disproportionately large areolae
Breast Augmentation Lift – When the breasts are close to the desired size, sometimes a Breast Lift alone is all that is needed to create youthful, perky breasts. If the upper pole is empty, a small implant can be used to enhance the shape of the breasts by adding fullness to the bust line without over exaggerating the size.
Mastopexy Augmentation Consultations
When considering Cosmetic Breast Surgery, be certain to select an experienced and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. During your Breast Enhancement Consultation, your goals for both size and shape of the breasts should be discussed. If you are happy with the shape of your breasts, and are just looking for more volume, Breast Augmentation alone is likely the procedure of choice. If your size is good, but the shape is bothersome, a Breast Lift may be the best option to achieve your desired breast aesthetic. If your goal is to both augment and rejuvenate your breasts, the combination of Mastopexy Augmentation is often recommended and may be the best choice for you.
To schedule a personal consultation appointment in the San Francisco Bay Area call (925) 943-6353.
What we know about Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is evolving. We learn more as each new case is identified. Right now, there are just too few cases to know many of the specifics; however, today I will go over the data currently available.
ASPS and ASAPS summary of BIA-ALCL in 2019
Much of this information comes from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Thanks to its members voluntarily reporting and collecting information on BIA-ALCL, these US based national plastic surgery organizations have the best database on BIA-ALCL in the world.
What is BIA-ALCL?
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is an uncommon and treatable type of T-cell lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. BIA-ALCL is not a cancer of the breast tissue itself. It is not breast cancer, but it is found in the breast, around the capsule which surrounds breast implants.
When Does It Present?
The time between breast implant insertion and diagnosis of BIA-ALCL varies greatly. It ranges from 9 months to 27 years, with an average delay in presentation of 9.2 years.
Who Gets BIA-ALCL?
Cases seem to be concentrated in patients who have, or who have had textured breast implants. It seems to be related to the aggressiveness of the texturing and has occurred in patients with both silicone and saline filled breast implants.
When in doubt; check it out. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to curing BIA-ALCL.
After reviewing all available case series, case reports, and registries, BIA-ALCL is more common with textured implants. Textured implants are used less frequently than smooth implants. Textured implants are also used more often for breast reconstruction after breast cancer, because shaped implants are more desirable in this population and texturing is used to reduce breast implant rotation for shaped implants.
To date, no cases of BIA-ALCL have been verified in patients who have had exclusively smooth breast implants. However, it is not possible to exclude the appearance of BIA-ALCL in association with smooth implants at this time. The FDA reports that they are aware of smooth breast implant only cases; however, they warn that this information is “unverified” and potentially “inaccurate.”
The association of BIA‐ALCL and textured implants may be related to the increased surface area of the texturing; however, this has not yet been definitively proven. The variation in surface texturing among breast implant manufacturers may mean there are variable risks for the development of BIA-ALCL.
How Does BIA-ALCL Present?
The majority of patients present years after their initial surgery with one breast gradually increasing in size. The increased size is from fluid, serum, collecting around the breast implant. This collection of fluid is called a seroma. Seromas are normal right after surgery; however these seromas appears later and are thus called a delayed seromas. A few patients have presented with different symptoms such as a mass, skin rash, fever and night sweats, and lymphadenopathy.
How Is The Diagnosis of BIA-ALCL Made?
BIA-ALCL usually presents as increased breast size due to fluid collecting around a textured breast implant.
Diagnosis is based on analysis of the fluid in the seroma. Most commonly, ultrasound‐guided fine needle aspiration of the peri-implant fluid is assessed with immunohistochemistry for CD30-positive large anaplastic T-cell lymphocytes.
How Is BIA-ALCL Worked Up?
PET‐CT is performed following a positive diagnosis. Mammograms are not helpful for evaluating lymphoma, but are important for the evaluation of breast cancer. Often, a multidisciplinary team approach including, when required, an oncological breast surgeon and an oncologist specializing in lymphoma.
How Is BIA-ALCL Treated?
The treatment of BIA-ALCL is evolving. In most cases, cure is obtained by removal of the breast implant and the capsule surrounding it. Incomplete capsular resection has been associated with both recurrence and significantly lower survival. Rarely, patients may present with a mass and have an increased risk of requiring radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Treatment approach should follow international guidelines established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for BIA-ALCL, available at nccn.org.
Current treatment recommendation is for bilateral complete capsulectomy and implant removal, as a small number of women have had contralateral disease found incidentally; however, it cannot be stressed enough that the treatment is still evolving, and each patient must be individually evaluated. If you suspect you have BIA-ALCL, do not delay, and contact your plastic surgeon or primary medical doctor immediately.
Summary Statement On BIA-ALCL From The ASPS
I have included below a statement released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) this week. It summarizes well what we currently know about BIA-ALCL. The ASPS has also published an 2019 online BIA-ALCL summary.
“Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is an uncommon type of lymphoma that can develop in the scar capsule near saline or silicone breast implants. This disease is currently being investigated as to its relationship with breast implants. The family of ALCL is a rare cancer of the immune system, which can occur anywhere in the body. Based on adverse event reports, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates the total number of cases of BIA-ALCL to be over 450 cases.”
“It has been noted that the majority of BIA-ALCL patients have a history of a textured-surface device. An exact single-number estimate of the risk for both textured and non-textured implants is not possible with the currently available data. Lifetime risk of BIA-ALCL has been estimated at 1:1,000 to 1: 30,000 for women with textured breast implants, and BIA-ALCL risk is currently under investigation. BIA-ALCL usually involves swelling of the breast at an average of 3 to 14 years after the initial breast implant operation. Most cases were cured by removal of the implant and the capsule surrounding the implant; however, rare cases have required chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy for treatment.”
“Patients with breast implants should be followed by a surgeon over time and seek professional care for implant-related symptoms such as pain, lumps, swelling, or asymmetry. Patients should monitor their breast implants with routine breast self-exams and follow standard medical recommendations for imaging (e.g. Mammography, Ultrasound, MRI). Abnormal screening results or implant-related symptoms may result in additional expenses for tests and/or procedures to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Tests and procedures could include but may not be limited to: obtaining breast fluid or tissue for pathology and laboratory evaluation, surgery to remove the scar capsule around the breast implant, implant removal, or implant replacement.”
All breast Implants create larger breasts. While Silicone Breast Implants are more widely used, Saline Breast Implants still have a role to fill.
Over 90% of today’s Breast Augmentation patients choose Silicone Gel Breast Implants, but Saline Breast Implants still play a role in selected situations. Today, I review the pros and cons of Breast Augmentation with Saline Breast Implants.
Saline Breast Implant Cost Less
Saline Breast Implants cost less than Silicone Breast Implants. Since saline breast implants are easier to manufacture, they cost less. Also, saline breast implants are not pre-filled. The saline is actually inserted during surgery by your surgeon.
Saline Breast Implant Leak Detection
Saline is water with a little salt added to make it as salty as we are, about 0.9% NaCl.
With Saline Breast Implants, leak detection is simple. When they leak, the slightly salty water inside escapes and is quickly absorbed by the body. The result is noticeable deflation, usually occurring overnight. Unlike Silicone Breast Implants, expensive diagnostic imaging, MRI is not needed. Saline Breast Implants are also easier to replace, because only the shell needs to be removed.
Saline Breast Implant Projection
Until recently, Saline Breast Implants provided more projection than silicone breast implants. When saline implants are filled, they become firmer and have more projection. For the same volume, Saline Breast Implants have about 10% more projection. Additionally, Silicone Breast Implants are flat on the back side, while Saline Breast Implants are convex.
Saline Breast Implants are convex on the back, so they give more projection than the flat-backed Silicone Breast Implants for the same volume.
Saline Breast Implant Incision Size
Saline Breast Implants are inserted empty, so the surgical incision is small. They can be collapsed and then filled after they are inserted by way of a filling tube. On the other hand, Silicone Breast Implants come pre-filled, thus they are bigger and require a larger incision for placement.
Saline Breast Implant Drawbacks
Saline Breast Implants feel firmer, tend to ripple (wrinkle) more and move differently than Silicone Breast Implants. For women going up one cup size, there may be enough native breast tissue to disguise the implant. However, for those going from an A-cup to a D-cup, the implant is more palpable, even when the Breast Implant is placed behind the muscle.
Breast Augmentation Consultation
The difference between Saline and Silicone Breast Implants is just one consideration before Breast Augmentation surgery. While the Internet can provide general information, consulting with an experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon will help you translate which options will work best for you.
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, call (925) 943-6353 today, and schedule a private Breast Augmentation Consultation.
Summer may be over, but Breast Augmentation is still one of the most frequently requested Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures here in the San Francisco Bay Area. For many, this is the best time of year for the procedure. As the weather cools down, it is easier to cover up during recovery. Moreover, you will be well healed by the time Spring comes around.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants are the newest technology. With a strong, cohesive gel inside, they can provide more projection, less rippling and the safety reduced gel migration.
This Breast Implant Video Presentation illustrates the options and the results of Breast Enlargement. There are many reasons for Breast Augmentation. Sometimes it’s for size. Sometimes it’s for shape. The latest breast implants provide shape and support for the breasts with the increased safety of strong, highly cohesive gel inside them. These “Gummy Bear” Breast Implants reduces gel migration and some other problems seen in the past after Breast Augmentation with Silicone Gel Breast Implants.
Breast Augmentation Video (Augmentation Mammoplasty)
This Body Beautiful video segment from the San Francisco Bay Area’s News Station, KRON 4, reviews Breast Augmentation with the latest Gummy Bear Breast Implants. This Breast Implant Video reviews many of the options and illustrates the benefits of Augmentation Mastopexy with numerous Breast Aug Before and After Photos.
Breast Implant Consultations
If you are considering Breast Augmentation or Breast Implant Revision Surgery, consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area. When in the San Francisco Bay Area, call (925) 943-6353 today, and schedule a personal and private consultation appointment.
Massive weight loss will shrink our volume, but does not reliably shrink our skin. In the before and after pictures above, breast volume is restored with breast implants. Sagging breast skin is tightened with a breast lift. Excess abdominal skin is removed, and the belly bulge caused by stretched out abdominal muscles, is flattened by tightening the muscle sheath.
Post-Bariatric Plastic Surgery is Plastic Surgery after Massive Weight Loss. Whether this is after a lifestyle change or after Bariatric Surgery, the amount of skin that persists after weight loss is often large and frustrating. This Post-Weight Loss Plastic Surgery Video reviews several of the most common treatments including: Lower Body Lifts, Tummy Tucks, Breast Augmentation, Breast Lifts and Arm Lifts. The results of Post-Bariatric Plastic Surgery are illustrated and narrated in this video with before and after pictures, which describe and demonstrate what Board Certified Plastic Surgeons can do for the skin excess that often occurs after weight loss.
Post-Bariatric Plastic Surgery Video
Extremity Tightening Procedures
The majority of skin tightening procedures performed after weight loss are for the trunk; however, the face, arms and legs can also develop excess skin. Face Lifts (Rhytidectomy), Arm Lifts (Brachioplasty) and Thigh Lifts can help with excess skin on the face/neck, upper arm and thighs. Below is an example of an arm lift.
Brachioplasty literally means arm changing. An arm lift can change the way an arm looks, feels and fits into sleeves.
Brachioplasty changes the arm by removing the excess skin that often hangs off the upper arm after weight loss. The skin is removed from the lower border of the upper arm, leaving a scar along the bottom of the arm. This is the only procedure that can remove large amounts of excess skin.
Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery Consultations
As an active member of the American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons, post bariatric plastic surgery is an area in which I specialize.
The American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons was formed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons specializing in skin tightening after massive weight loss.
When searching for an experienced post-weight loss plastic surgeon, be certain to look for a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is a Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Additionally, members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery specialize in the cosmetic side of plastic surgery, and members of the American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons demonstrate additional dedication to the cosmetic side of post-bariatric plastic surgery.
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to learn more about your skin reduction options after weight loss, call (925) 943-6353, to schedule your private consultation appointment.
Through the years, I have posted several updates on the rare, but very treatable, Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog. As of January 4, 2018, a pivotal new study was released in JAMA Oncology.
An advanced case of BIA-ALCL. Arrows on this MRI point to white patches of increased fluid around the tumor cells.
What Is The Risk of BIA-ALCL in Women With Breast Implants?
To properly frame the answer obtained, it is important to note that BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer. However, the relative risk of BIA-ALCL compared to the risk of breast cancer is often used to give proper reference to how rare BIA-ALCL is.
What Was Found – The Absolute Numbers
The study utilized the Netherlands’ Nationwide Network and Registry of Histo- and Cytopathology (PALGA). Over the 27 years, the study identified 32 patients with primary breast ALCL with a breast implants. Overall, 782 female patients were diagnosed with a non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) of the breast in the Netherlands during 1990 to 2016. 43 primary breast-ALCL cases were confirmed. The median age of the 43 patients with breast-ALCL was 59 years. 32 of these patients had ipsilateral (same sided) breast implants, compared with 1 among 146 women with other primary breast lymphomas (OR, 421.8; 95% CI, 52.6-3385.2).
Other Associations With BIA-ALCL
BIA-ALCL seems to form on the surface of textured breast implants. The cells can also be found in the fluid that accumulates around the breast implant. The bacteria that form a biofilm around the textured implants have been associated with this tumor.
BIA-ALCL is associated with textured breast implants. Out of 109,448 breast implants sold in the Netherlands, 49,109 were textured (P < 0.01). This means of the breast implants sold in the Netherlands, and presumably used, 45% are textured. In this study, however, 23 of 28 patients diagnosis with BIA-ALCL had textured breast implants at the time of their diagnosis or 82%. So the actual number of BIA-ALCL cases associated with textured implants was almost twice what would be expected if BIA-ALCL occurred at the same rate in textured and smooth breast implants. Even more importantly, in this study, it was unknown if the patients with smooth implants had previously had textured breast implants, but more on that below.
Textured Breast Implants & BIA-ALCL
The Plastic Surgery Foundation has the most complete and largest database of BIA-ALCL cases. As of December 1, 2017, of the 183 unique reported cases in the PROFILE database, every patient has had a textured breast implant prior to their diagnosis. Even women who had smooth breast implants at the time of their BIA-ALCL diagnosis, had previously had either a textured breast implant or a textured tissue expander prior to receiving their smooth breast implants.
Comparisons With Breast Cancer
If you live to 80 years of age, your risk of developing breast cancer is 1:8. If you have breast implants, your risk of developing BIA-ALCL ranges from 1:1000 to 1:30,000 for women with textured breast implants, depending on which epidemiological study you read. In 2018, about 40,920 women in the U.S. are expected to die from breast cancer. World wide there have been 17 deaths from BIA-ALCL over the 56 years that breast implants have been available. Like breast cancer, early diagnosis is the key to a cure. Unlike breast cancer, BIA-ALCL is very treatable.
The Signs of BIA-ALCL
Current treatment of BIA-ALCL is usually curative, but depends on early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Although it is unlikely that a woman with breast implants will ever have to deal with BIA-ALCL, it is important to know the symptoms and seek care if they develop. When BIA-ALCL is confined to the capsule, removing the breast implants and capsules has been curative for every patient to date. The majority of early stage patients require no additional treatment. Chemotherapy is required for unresectable disease to metastasis.
Delaying or declining treatment is not advisable. Analysis of the known deaths from BIA-ALCL revealed that patients either received radiation (x-ray therapy) or chemotherapy alone, died of the treatment itself, had incomplete surgical resection or had distant metastasis. All cases of BIA-ALCL should be reported to the PROFILE registry.
BIA-ALCL usually presents as unilateral (one-sided) swelling of the breasts, an average of 8-9 years after the insertion of textured breast implants (range 2-28 years reported). This can occur even if the breast implants have been replaced with smooth breast implants. Fluid around a textured breast implant is not usually due to BIA-ALCL, but it can be sent for analysis when the conditions are suspicious. BIA-ALCL can also present as a lump in the breast or in the armpit like breast cancer does.
The FDA does not recommend any additional screening or treatment for BIA-ALCL. BIA-ALCL is extremely rare, and it is impossible to predict who will develop it, but there are 4 identified risk factors: TIMD
T – Textured Breast Implants – There have been no reported smooth-walled device cases at this time.
I – Inflammation – Chronic inflammation has been implicated. Certain bacteria in the biofilm that forms around breast implants have been associated with an increased risk of BIA-ALCL.
M – Mutations – There may be a link with genetic mutations in JAK1 and STAT3. Further research is necessary.
D – Duration of Augmentation – Presentation is usually 8-9 years after textured breast implant insertion.
What To Do If You Suspect You Have BIA-ALCL
Get checked out. See your primary medical doctor or your plastic surgeon. Get an updated medical history and physical examination. If enough fluid is present around the breast implant, a sample can be sent for analysis. 2-3 tablespoons are required for cytology and CD30 immunohistochemisty to rule out BIA-ALCL. Mammograms are not useful. PET/CT scans are used for staging.
Breast Implants can enlarge and enhance the shape of a woman’s breasts.
Breast Augmentation remains one of the most requested Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures year after year. My San Francisco Bay Area Breast Augmentation patients are no exception. Whether breast shape or volume has become a problem postpartum, after weight loss or if you have always had small breast, Breast Implants may be the answer you are looking for.
Breast Augmentation Before and After Pictures
Breast Implants can put the stuffing back into deflated breasts.
This week I discussed Breast Augmentation on the SF Bay Area’s New Station, KRON 4, with host Janelle Marie. The video segment below includes information about Breast Implants and how they are used. In it, I narrate multiple Breast Implant Before and After Pictures of my actual patients.
Breast Augmentation Video (Breast Implants)
Breast Augmentation Explained
Breast Augmentation with Breast Implants has been around for over 50 years. The procedure involves creating a pocket for the Breast Implant behind your breast tissue to augment the breasts. This enhances both the size and shape of the breasts. More information is available here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, by selecting “Breast Augmentation” under the “Search By Category” heading in the sidebar. There is also information about Breast Augmentation Lifts, Breast Implant Selection, Breast Implant Revision, Breast Implant Removal and a wide variety of other cosmetic breast, face and body procedures.
The best breast augmentation is achieved by selecting breast implants that are proportionate to the chest.
Breast Augmentation Consultations
If you are considering Breast Enhancement Surgery, call (925) 943-6353, today, and schedule a personal consultation appointment, tailored to your goals. We are conveniently located in the East San Francisco Bay Area city of Walnut Creek, CA.
Breast Augmentation with Breast Implants remains the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery. Three to four-hundred-thousand women have Breast Augmentation each year in the US alone. It is the safest and most effective means of enlarging the breasts available, but even FDA approved devices, like Breast Implants, need touch-ups from time-to-time.
Do I Need Breast Implant Revision Surgery?
The following Breast Implant Revision Surgery Video originally aired on the San Francisco Bay Area‘s news Station, KRON 4. It reviews Breast Augmentation Revision Options and describes some of the most common breast augmentation revisions. Multiple before and after pictures are included as examples.
Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery Video
Breast Implant Deflation
The introductory photo for the video above shows deflation of this patient’s left breast implant. For Saline Breast Implants, loss of the breast implant’s shell integrity results in complete deflation and loss of breast augmentation. Replacement of a deflated breast implant can be done with minimal downtime. It is also a good time to consider if your breast implants are the right size, profile or style (saline vs silicone), as there is no better time to replace both implants. In situations like the above, it is extremely helpful if you know what type and size of breast implants you have.
Breast Implant Revision – Bigger
The most common reason for Breast Augmentation Revisions is to go bigger. This is especially common after pregnancy with preexisting breast implants as shown above.
The above Breast Implant Revision Before and After Pictures show two common reasons for revision. The first, and the most common, is to go larger. The second, and often seen after pregnancy with preexisting breast implants, is to correct breast tissue sagging off the breast implants.
This patient has already had a Breast Augmentation Mastopexy, also known as a breast lift, using breast implants for additional volume. The larger the preexisting breast tissue volume, the more likely the breast is to sag. This is true with or without breast implants. She desired larger breasts and a perkier appearance. A larger Breast Implant provides both additional volume and support for her breasts.
Breast Implant Revision – Smaller
The above Breast Augmentation Revision pictures demonstrate the correction of bottoming out.
Sometimes, the breast implants are too large to be supported. The before picture, in the above Breast Augmentation Revision Before and After Pictures, demonstrates what happens when breast implants are too large, even with a breast lift. Over time, the Breast Implants have over-stretched the skin of the lower breast and moved down the chest. The previous breast lift (mastopexy) scar is red and irritated, and the nipple is riding high. This patient presented with a desire for correction of the shape of her breasts, and also wanted to be smaller.
The after photo shows the results after the mastopexy was revised and the breast implants were replaced with smaller, lower profile, Breast Implants. The mastopexy scar looks less irritated. The distance between the nipples and the bottom of the breast is reduced to normal. The new breast implants are smaller, but maintain the width of the breast to preserve cleavage.
Breast Implant Revision Surgery Consultations
With the popularity of Breast Implants it is not surprising that Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery has become its own specialty. If you have breast implants which are:
too close together
too far apart
deflated or leaking
not supporting your breast tissue
then give my San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery Clinic a call at (925) 943-6353. With 20 years of experience, I will give you up-to-date options that are personalized to your unique situation. Previous operative reports and your before and after pictures help, so bring them with you, too.