A warm hello from the team at Blackhawk Plastic Surgery, one of the Bay Area’s top plastic surgery centers.  In addition to providing the most up to date cutting edge techniques, we believe that safety is our number one priority. There have been a few changes recently with the FDA and textured breast implants that you may have seen in the media. We would like to take this opportunity to update you concerning Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

First and foremost, I would like to clarify that Blackhawk Plastic Surgery, has never used any of the textured implants in question. If you had implant based breast surgery with us, then the recent concerns do not apply to you and you can rest easy.

If you had your breast implants performed elsewhere, please keep reading: You are receiving this letter because you potentially had breast implant surgery outside of our facility and we are unable to determine your implant type.

The current ASPS guidelines recommend only surveillance for changes in breast shape or size. If you know that you have textured implants, and have noted any increased size of one of your breasts, then please schedule an appointment with our office. If you are concerned about your risk of developing ALCL, even if you do not know what kind of implant you have, than we would like to offer you the opportunity to have your implants exchanged for smooth implants.

Background

Since 2010, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been monitoring rare case reports of Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). For the last few months, BIA-ALCL has made a few headlines. Here are the facts:

  • This rare cancer has been associated with textured breast implants only.
  • Textured saline implants and silicone implants have been reported
  • The lifetime risk of contracting the cancer is about 1:3800 – 1:30,000.
  • There have been a total of 288 cases in the United states and 735 worldwide as of July 12th of this year. There are no cases of this occurring with a smooth implant like the ones that we use in our practice.
  • This cancer usually occurs about 8 years after implantation and is associated with an increase in size of one of the breasts due to a new fluid collection.
  • This cancer has a very high cure rate with removal of the implant and excision of the capsule (scar tissue) around the implant.
  • Recommendation per the ASPS is ongoing breast self exam and monitoring with your plastic surgeon for any pain, lumps, swelling, fluid collections, or unexpected changes in your breasts more than 1 year after breast implant surgery.

The most recent turn of events occurred this last Wednesday, July 24th when Allergan, the largest breast implant manufacturing company in the United States, voluntarily recalled their textured implants from the market. There is no doubt that there will be further updates and changes. We will continue to work diligently to keep you, our patients, safe.

Additionally, we’ve expanded our clinic to make room for our newest surgeon, Dr. Timothy M. Rankin, MD. Dr. Rankin comes from one of the leading plastic surgery programs in the country, Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt is a major referral center for breast cancer in the Southeast and Dr. Rankin is familiar with the full spectrum of management of BIA-ALCL.

We invite you to visit our website, www.blackhawkplasticsurgery.com, watch our video testimonials and let us know how we may be able to help you.

Contact one of our patient coordinators today to schedule a free consultation.

(925) 736-5757

We look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,
Stephen J. Ronan, MD FACS