In news reports you may have recently heard of a cancer that has been associated with breast implants called Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic
Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). It is a T-cell lymphoma that is not a cancer of the breast tissue itself, but a type of cancer that develops around the scar tissue which forms around the implant. In rare cases it may spread to other areas.
For the cases reported to date, it has been seen most often in patients with Allergan textured implants. The company has voluntarily removed them from the market while more studies are being performed.
Your estimated chance of getting BIA-ALCL from textured implants is 1 in 3,817 – 1 in 30,000 or 0.03% to 0.003%.
In my medical practice I have never implanted textured implants.
If you have breast implants, there is no need to change your routine medical care and follow-up.
You should follow standard medical recommendations, including regular medical examinations as scheduled by your family doctor. If you notice any changes to your breasts, please contact your health care provider promptly to arrange an appointment with your original plastic surgeon for continuity of your care.
For more information on BIA-ALCL, visit plasticsurgery.org/alcl
Information excerpts are from Allergan’s Patient BA FAQ handouts (sent to all plastic surgery clinics with Allergan accounts)
After a surgery you will develop scar tissue. Dr. Brooks will see you for your follow ups and suggest when to start doing your scar massage. He will instruct you (or a family member) in the proper scar massage technique. Why a family member? Scar massage doesn’t feel pleasant. Patients will often go easy on themselves, but a loved one can help by applying the firm pressure needed, while the patient focuses on something distracting.
Proper healing must have taken place before scar tissue massage can begin.
Massaging a scar that is not fully healed can cause damage to the developing scar tissue which can delay healing, or worse it may open the incision and lead to infection. It is very important to wait until your surgeon says it is safe to start scar massage.
Creams or Oils?
A scar cream or oil is recommended for use during scar massage. The evidence for the success of scar massage is based upon the effects generated by the heat and friction of your fingers/thumbs over the scar. Think of a massage therapy appointment- it is easier to repeatedly move your hands over the skin when a lubricant like a cream/oil is used. You can use Aloe-Vera, body lotions, Vitamin E oil, or our silicone based scar cream with Vitamin C to help with your scar massage. You don’t have to use our scar cream to get a great scar. It is more important to make a point to do the massage once or twice daily. Why do we sell scar cream then? There is good evidence to support the use of silicone based creams for improved scar healing, so we sell it for your convenience, and to try to use all the evidence we have to get you the best scar possible.
Technique: Cross Friction Massage
An effective method of scar massage is called cross friction massage. This involves using one or two fingers to massage your scar in small circles, or in a direction that is against (perpendicular) the line of your scar. Dr. Brooks can show or explain to you how to do the scar massage at your follow up.
Melanoma Awareness Month Should Be Every Month – But Officially It’s May
Plastic surgeons are often involved in removing skin cancers as many occur on the face in areas where the sun hits us most directly (nose, cheeks, temples and ears).
Please don’t ignore changes seen on your skin! The longer you wait to have a skin cancer removed, the bigger it will get, and the more complicated the surgery will be to remove it.
Watch for ugly duckling spots – not like the others. You might find changing spots that may be more pink in colour. They may not resemble usual moles. Be especially aware of them if you find they start bleeding, crusting, itching or ulcerating (non-healing). If you see these signs on your own skin or the skin of a loved one, the next step is to make an appointment to see your family doctor to ask their opinion. Sometimes family doctors will do a small biopsy to get a diagnosis, but sometimes they are uncomfortable doing the biopsy if it is on your face. Your family doctor will then usually do a referral to a specialist like a plastic surgeon or dermatologist.
View More Images Here of the 3 main types of skin cancer:
- Basal Cell Carcinomas
- Squamous Cell Carcinomas
Anyone who sunburns can get skin cancer, so take steps to protect yourself year-round.
In one way or another all of us have been affected by breast cancer. Whether it be through a family member or a friend, maybe you were diagnosed with breast cancer and had to go through it on your own. Read more
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