Doctors, Patients Raise Alarms About Cancer Linked to Breast Implants

Women choose to get breast implants either for breast reconstruction after mastectomy or for cosmetic reasons. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported 400,000 breast implant procedures took place in 2017, up nearly 40 percent since 2000.

It’s taken several years to gather data but the FDA now believes that textured breast implants may be more likely to cause ALCL, although it says smooth implants are also linked to an increased risk. The trouble is that there’s no organized effort to put together data from people who have implants and those who have developed ALCL.

Life After Breast Cancer: When Is it Time for a New Implant?

If you choose breast implants for reconstruction, it’s important to know that they don’t always last forever. The time may come when you need to consider replacement or maintenance of your implants.

While implant reconstruction offers a safe, straightforward and effective way to restore breast contour after mastectomy, it’s possible to have trouble with your implants years later.

How I Found the Right Bras After Mastectomy and Reconstruction

Wearing a bra, or not, was the last thing on my mind when I underwent a preventive double mastectomy three years ago. But when I woke up from that first surgery, and the three reconstructive surgeries that followed, I was wearing a bra. It was pale pink, closing in front with a strip of hook and loop fasteners, and had two rings hanging from the sides to keep my surgical drains from dangling.

I hated this bra. For eight weeks after my mastectomy I needed to wear it, stuffed with soft gauze to protect my sensitive skin.

Ideal Timing of Post-Mohs Reconstruction

For select patients undergoing Mohs procedures for skin tumors, delaying reconstruction enhanced viability of full-thickness skin grafts and composite grafts and decreased postoperative complication rates, a retrospective, single-institution study found.

Among 310 patients undergoing reconstruction of 320 Mohs defects, overall postoperative complications occurred at a rate of 33.4%, reported J. Jared Christophel, MD, MPH, of University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, and colleagues in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Immediate Breast Reconstruction with Mastectomy Doesn’t Negatively Affect Patient Outcomes, Study Finds

Immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) after mastectomy doesn’t negatively affect patient outcomes, according to a new study by researchers at Loma Linda University Health.

The finding could help ease the concerns of patients and physicians, many of whom have been unsure about the combined procedure compared to other options. At issue is a slight delay needed to coordinate schedules of both surgeons — one to perform the mastectomy, the other to perform the reconstruction. Doing so can extend the time from diagnosis to the initial surgery.

Researchers, however, found that a delay of less than 120 days for women under 60 did not have a substantial negative effect on patient survival rates. The average delay, they found, was two weeks.

Black Women Are Underrepresented In The Breast Cancer Community, Even Though They’re More Likely To Die From The Disease

Doing a Google search of the terms “mastectomy” or “breast reconstruction,” will likely lead you to a plethora of images of these procedures on white breasts, while black bodies are almost non-existent in the results.

And even if you try being more specific by entering the phrase “mastectomy on black woman,” a few more photos will pop up, but it’s still clear that there are not nearly enough resources for black people fighting the disease.

What Happens When You Can’t Afford Breast Cancer Reconstruction?

Despite its importance as part of a holistic cancer treatment plan, reconstruction can be incredibly difficult to afford.

When a single breast implant can cost as much as $10,000, the financial burden on a patient can quickly get out of control, making some women feel as though the surgery isn’t a viable option for them.

What about when money does dictate the decision? Marie Claire spoke to three women in the throes of trying to rebuild their lives—and breasts—after cancer.

Suzanne Somers Did Not ‘Regrow’ Missing Breast: Surgeon

About seven years have passed since breast cancer survivor Suzanne Somers underwent an experimental reconstruction procedure following a lumpectomy. Now an intimate health update from the former “Three’s Company” star has left many fans wondering whether her miracle results are for real.

“This is a regrown breast,” the 71-year-old said of her resilient bosom at a Beverly Hills fund-raiser last weekend. “This is really mine.”

Fat Grafting for Breast Reconstruction Does Not Increase Cancer Recurrence Risk

Women who underwent autologous fat transfer for reconstruction after breast cancer surgery did not appear at increased risk for locoregional or distant recurrence, according to a case-matched, retrospective review of medical records.

Fat transfer reconstruction also was associated with lower mortality rates than conventional breast reconstruction.

Autologous fat transfer, also called fat grafting, is a process in which a clinician injects a patient’s liposuctioned fat, often harvested from the abdomen or upper legs, into soft tissue deformities that may occur during breast cancer surgery.