The Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged a link between breast implants and a rare blood cancer, as it revealed that at least nine women died of the disease after receiving implants.
Breast Implants And ALCL
The agency said that as of Feb. 1, it already received more than 350 reports of a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) associated with breast implants.
Doctors and researchers have long been conducting investigations on the link between breast implants and ALCL. FDA first reported about it in 2011, but it said that there were too few cases for a conclusion beyond an association between breast implants and the blood cancer.
"Since 2011, we have strengthened our understanding of this condition and concur with the World Health Organization designation of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) as a rare T-cell lymphoma that can develop following breast implants," the FDA said.
Why Women Decide To Get Breast Implants
Women receive breast implants for a number of reasons, which include replacing the tissue that was removed because of breast cancer or to make their breasts larger of change the shape.
Breast augmentation remains one of the leading cosmetic surgical procedures done in the United States. In 2016, there were 1.8 million breast augmentations done, which is up by 4 percent from 2015.
Cosmetic Procedures Come With Risks
While FDA's recent announcement may raise worries about breast enhancements, many other cosmetic procedures come with risks. Just like any other surgeries, cosmetic and plastic surgeries come with risks. They may have unwanted side effects after the operation.
"The human body makes no distinction when the scalpel hits," plastic surgeon Richard D'Amico said. "The difference with elective cosmetic surgeries is that patients generally start out being healthy."
Liposuction: Fat Embolism And Organ Problems
Liposuction, which is done to break up and "suck" fat from the body, can cause fat embolism. This happens when pieces of loosened fat break away and get trapped in a blood vessel, which could gather in the lungs or travel to the brain. The procedure may also cause organ damage as fluids being injected and suctioned out may cause kidney and heart problems.
Tummy Tuck: Seroma And Fat Necrosis
Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is done to flatten the abdomen by removing extra fat and skin as well as by tightening the muscles in the abdominal wall. A common complication of this surgery is seroma, which happens when the serum from the blood pools beneath the skin's surface causing swelling and pain. For individuals with increased risk for complication such as people who smoke, fat necrosis, or death of fatty tissue located deep in the skin, may also happen.
Face Lift: Blood Clot Formation
The procedure is done to remove or reduce the signs of aging, which include the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of the face. One of its potential side effects is the formation of blood clots in large veins that can travel to the heart and lungs albeit this does not commonly occur.