(Note from Erin: I had my implants out six long years ago and wrote a book about it, which I give away for free. And because of my experience with them, I have been talking about these dangerous implants ever since. In fact, we just did an article last month on this very subject. I’m SO thankful for our readers who shared the article with everyone they knew…they might have helped to save a life.)
This week, French authorities announced that the breast implants made by Allergan which have been linked to an uncommon form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), are being taken off the market in Europe. The implants “have a textured or slightly roughened surface, rather than a smooth covering,”1 and will not be manufactured or sold in Europe, until further notice. Implants already at plastic surgery centers are being recalled.
This action will affect all members of the European Union, not just France, as well as other countries in Europe that require “a stamp of approval called a CE marking for medical devices.”2 However, it does not affect implants in the United States. (In the US, smooth implants are more common.)
“The lymphoma is not breast cancer, but is a malignancy of the immune system that develops years after the implant surgery, often seven or eight years later. Removing the implant usually gets rid of the disease. But in some cases, the cancer spread and women died.
Allergan’s prior CE mark expired on Sunday. The company had applied for renewal, but French health officials requested additional data on the textured implants, which the company said it could not provide before the expiration date.The company had expected to supply the requested information within the next few months, but when it did not deliver by the expiration date, the CE was taken away.”3
In response, Allergan issued a statement expressing that they stood behind “the benefit/risk profile of our breast implant products”4 and further stressed that the recall wasn’t based on any new scientific evidence regarding textured implants.
Symptoms of ALCL can include pain, lumps, swelling or breast asymmetry. If you experience one of these symptoms with your implants you should see your doctor. This summer the FDA said that as of Sept. 30, 2017, there were 414 reports of ALCL including nine fatal cases. The implant surface was known in only 272 of those cases, and in 242 of those it was textured.5
If you are thinking about getting implants, please make sure to do your research. And if you have them already, please remember to get them regularly checked out by your doctor.