Mr Nigel Horlock

Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

New Guidance on Breast Implant Safety Released

Although breast augmentation has improved drastically over the years, there are still some risks and complications present. There have been a number of safety concerns over breast implants in recent years. To address these concerns, new guidelines on breast implant safety have been released.

In a joint statement, the BAPRAS, BAAPS and ABS have provided new advice on breast implant safety. Here, we’ll look at what this new guidance means for those considering breast augmentation and those who already have breast implants.

Addressing the health concerns

There have been two health concerns brought to light recently in terms of breast implant safety. The first is Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Thought to affect 1 in every 24,000 implant patients, BIA-ALCL is a rare form of cancer. The condition presents 8-10 years after the breast augmentation procedure. Patients discover visible yet painless lumps in the breast which are caused by a fluid build-up known as a seroma. Swelling accumulates over a few weeks and the condition can usually be treated and cured.

The second health concern is Breast Implant Illness (BII). Although not a recognised disease, a growing number of patients are reporting illnesses they believe are linked to their breast implants. This has led to the major cosmetic surgery boards to look into BII. As the symptoms are very general, it is so far difficult to establish whether illnesses are being caused by breast implants. Therefore, more research is currently being undertaken to learn more about the condition.

Should patients have their implants removed?

The new review into the safety of breast implants has understandably caused concern for those who already have them. Many are questioning whether or not they should be having their implants removed.

If you do have breast implants, the BAAPS, ABS and BAPRAS don’t recommend getting them removed. The chances of developing BIA-ALCL and BII are relatively small. There are also risks associated with breast implant removal. So, it’s actually safer to leave them in unless they are linked to your health concerns.

What breast implant safety advice should patients follow?

If patients have breast implants, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has produced useful advice that can be followed.

If you have breast implants and you begin to start experiencing any health issues, you should seek medical advice. This includes a change in shape, lumps and swelling. If you are concerned that you are experiencing health issues because of your implants, you should contact the surgeon or clinic where you got them inserted for advice. If you cannot contact them, seek advice from your GP.

Overall, breast augmentation is one of the most common procedures carried out each year. While there are some valid health concerns, the risks remain relatively rare. That being said, patients should always make sure they choose a reliable and experienced surgeon and report any issues they experience early on. Mr Nigel Horlock will also ensure you’re fully informed about all the potential risks and complications before you make the decision to go ahead. To arrange a consultation with Mr Horlock, call 02380 764969.


Mr Horlock's NHS practice is based in the regional plastics unit at Salisbury District Hospital. He covers Salisbury, Southampton and Dorchester. He sees patients in his private practice at Southampton, Salisbury, Dorchester.

CONTACT MR HORLOCK
Spire Southampton Hospital
Chalybeate Close,
Southampton,
Hampshire
S016 6UY
CLINIC APPOINTMENTS: 02380 914 504
Julie Martin: 02380 764 969
info@nigelhorlock.co.uk