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Suite 8, Level 2, 3 Hopetoun Street, Charlestown, NSW 2290

Update on breast implants

You may be aware of some recent media on the safety of breast implants.

These concern the incidence of a form of lymphoma (ALCL), which has occurred in around 390 cases of the estimated 30 million women with implants worldwide (so in 0.0013% of cases), and in 55 cases in Australia. It should also be noted that ALCL is not a breast cancer, which is a separate disease and impacts around 1 in 8 women regardless of whether they have implants or not.

Here are some important facts:

  • ALCL is related to bacterial biofilm contamination of implants that occurs during implant insertion.
  • It is generally observed in women 7-10 years after their surgery and often presents as swelling or a lump.
  • Of the 55 cases reported in Australia, the TGA has advised that most cases were cured by removal of the implant and the capsule surrounding the implant.
  • Dr Moncrieff’s technique is aimed at preventing the formation of biofilm and he has demonstrated this by committing to the Macquarie University 14 point plan to reduce infection risk. The register of those who have committed to this plan, including Dr Moncrieff is here.
  • Your consultation is an opportunity to discuss all risks associated with surgery including the choice of implant and the steps your surgeon takes to avoid bacterial contamination of the implant at time of surgery.
  • And you can be assured that we use implants from one of the world’s leading implant manufacturers, Mentor, which is owned by Johnson and Johnson. Mentor implants are backed by a life-time guarantee and have a demonstrated safety record and have been shown in the ALCL research to have amongst the lowest rates of implant-related complications.

Are you concerned about a change in your breast?

If you are concerned about your breast implants, particularly swelling or hardening, then please immediately seek medical advice from your GP or if you had your surgery here, you should book an appointment with our surgeon. The first step is generally an ultrasound to investigate the source of swelling, which in most cases is not related to ALCL.

Looking for more information?

Dr Moncrieff is a member of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons which have released this statement reinforcing the rare nature of ALCL and the commitment amongst their members to reducing infection risk by committing as our surgeons have, to the 14 point plan.

You can read the 28 August 2017 statement from the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons here.

More details are available from the Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration which recently reviewed this issue.