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Study Finds Surfaces of Silicone Breast Implants Could Affect Immune System

Doctors Warn Textured Breast Implants Could Increase Risk of Rare Cancer

A research study led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has analyzed how the varying surface architecture found in silicone breast implants influences dangerous developments, such as rare lymphoma cancers.

According to an MIT news release, the study found that the surface topography of an implant can drastically affect how the immune response perceives it and this could have important ramifications for the implants’ design.

What the Study Found

Researchers hope this study serves as a guide for plastic surgeons to better evaluate and understand how their choice of breast implants could affect patient experience and health outcomes. Researchers also say the findings could help scientists to design implants that are more compatible with patients’ bodies.

While silicone breast implants have been in use since the 1960s, the earliest versions had smooth surfaces. But, patients experienced a complication in which scar tissue forms around the implant and squeezes it causing pain or discomfort. In the late 1980s, some companies began to make implants with rougher surfaces called textured implants.

However, in 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested breast implant manufacturer Allergan to recall all of its highly textured breast implants due to the risk of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a cancer of the immune system.

If You Have Been Affected

Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or BIA-ALCL is a rare type of lymphoma that could develop around breast implants. This type of cancer occurs most frequently in patients who have breast implants with textured surfaces.

Common symptoms include breast enlargement, pain, asymmetry, lump in the breast or armpit, overlying skin rash, hardening of the breast, or a large fluid collection typically developing at least more than one year after receiving an implant, and on average after eight to 10 years. Any patient experiencing these symptoms should see their doctor immediately for evaluation.

If you or a loved one has been affected by the recalled Allergan textured breast implants, please remember that you have legal rights. You may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, cost of surgery, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to advise victims regarding their legal rights and options.

 

Source: https://news.mit.edu/2021/silicone-breast-implants-surfaces-health-0621

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