Announcements, notices, alerts
Here patients can find important announcements from research and practice on materials, treatments and complications.
Notice to PIP implant wearers
PIP implants were breast implants of inadequate quality used until 2010 and taken off the market in Spring 2010.
- As before, in consultation with SWISS PLASTIC SURGERY, Swissmedic does not recommend automatic removal of the PIP implants.
- Here is the latest report from the European Commission regarding PIP implants from 28/09/17.
Notice to all PIP implant wearers
Patients implanted with PIP implants before the spring of 2010 are asked to contact the practice that treated them, or the SWISS PLASTIC SURGERY Office or SWISSMEDIC:
Notice to cease using TOP-Q hyaluronic acid syringes
TOP-Q Hyaluronic acid syringes, manufactured by Qufu Hi-Tech Trading Co., Ltd. China, must not be used!
Read the safety notice from Swissmedic (in German)
Information on BII: Breast implant illness
“Breast Implant Illness (BII)” and “Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants” (ASIA) are a collection of symptoms associated with silicone breast implants. A wide range of symptoms are reported, which are often also common in other illnesses. They include chronic fatigue, joint pain, rapid heartbeat, forgetfulness and concentration disorders, migraine, muscle weakness, feelings of numbness and rash. A thorough investigation to rule out other illnesses is therefore required.
As yet, scientific studies have not been able to prove a link between breast implants and BII. There are currently no specific diagnostic markers to indicate the illness. However, the link cannot be ruled out with complete certainty. A sustained improvement in symptoms has been reported by both patients and clinicians following removal of the implants. Nevertheless, there are also publications and patient reports that do not show any improvement.
Swiss Plastic Surgery is in constant communication with Swissmedic, the competent regulatory body for therapeutic products in Switzerland. Furthermore, a national breast implant registry is currently being set up, to record risks and any side effects in a systematic manner.
Information on Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
BIA-ALCL is type of lymphoma associated with breast implants that occurs in the breasts. It is not considered breast cancer, but cancer of the lymphatic system occurring in the region of the breasts.
The true incidence is difficult to estimate, but it is low: 1.5/100,000 to 35/100,000 implant patients. Approximately 1000 cases have been reported worldwide to date. This figure is low compared to the number of women who have had breast implants fitted since the 1960s (more than 10 million). The disease is therefore considered as very rare.
Multiple causes have been put forward, but the main risk factor is related to the type of texture of the implant shell. Implants with a macrotexture appear to have a higher risk of causing BIA-ALCL than implants with a microtexture or smooth surface, in which there is practically no risk.
Therefore, implants with the highest risk have been taken off the market in recent years, in particular Allergan’s Biocell textured implants model 410. Because the risk continues to be very low, it is not recommended to have these implants removed, but if symptoms develop you should not delay in seeing a doctor.
ALCL can develop around 3 to 10 years after being fitted with the breast implants. The most important sign to watch out for is enlargement of the breast volume. However, it must be stressed that this symptom is not specific to ALCL there are many other causes of swelling or shape changes in the breast, just as there are other symptoms of ALCL.
If you notice symptoms or changes in your breast, it is essential to see a specialist in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery to assess the situation. If ALCL is suspected, further tests will be arranged, including in particular a breast ultrasound, where fluid around the breast can be visualised and a sample taken for testing. Only a histopathology test can confirm or verify a diagnosis of ALCL.
The chances of recovery are very good if ALCL is diagnosed early. The treatment of choice is removal of the implant and capsule, and replacement of the implant if desired. In most cases, no further treatment is necessary.
Whether in the preliminary consultation or after a procedure, ALCL shouldn’t be a taboo! Talk to your surgeon about it. During the preoperative consultation, your doctor should also discuss the risks of this very rare illness, as well as other risks or complications associated with implants, breast enlargements and breast reconstruction procedures.