Which Implants are Safe? News on the Recalled Breast Implants

Narasimhan Plastic Surgery

There has been a lot of media coverage regarding Allergan’s Natrelle BIOCELL® textured breast implant recall, and it has created some confusion for many breast augmentation patients. At my St. Petersburg practice, we do not use the Natrelle BIOCELL implants, but we want to clear the air and discuss the facts, as we have received many phone calls to our office regarding the matter.

We Do Not Use the Natrelle Biocell Implant

Only one type of implant—Allergan BIOCELL textured implant—has been recalled voluntarily, and Dr. Narasimhan DOES NOT use these implants. Allergan, the company that makes Natrelle breast implants, agreed to voluntarily recall the BIOCELL implants at the request of the FDA. Per the Allergan press release:

“The FDA’s analysis was attributed to a new worldwide reported total of 573 unique BIA-ALCL (breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma) cases including 33 patient deaths. Of the 573 cases of BIA-ALCL, 481 are reported to have Allergan breast implants at the time of diagnosis. In addition, 12 of 13 deaths occurring in patients with BIA-ALCL where the manufacturer was known occurred in patients implanted with an Allergan breast implant at the time of their BIA-ALCL diagnosis. The manufacturer and/or texture is unknown for the remaining 20 reported deaths from BIA-ALCL.”

As of this blog, the Allergan BIOCELL implants have been recalled.

We Use Only Smooth Breast Implants

It is important to remember that Dr. Narasimhan uses smooth round breast implants EXCLUSIVELY. The BIA-ALCL risks with textured implants have not been seen in smooth-surface implants. These smooth implants have been used for decades, and the technology has improved considerably.

During your consultation, you should talk with your surgeon about the type of breast implant that is best for you. For more information about this and other issues to discuss during your consultation, read this blog post.

If you are considering a breast augmentation, you can see some of my patients’ before-and-after photos to get a sense of the type of results I create.

Implant Removal Is Not Recommended If Asymptomatic

Even if you have BIOCELL textured implants, the FDA does not recommend removing them if you have no symptoms. Typical symptoms include pain, discomfort, and fluid buildup.

  • If you have no signs of a problem, Dr. Narasimhan does not recommend the removal of these or other types of breast implants because the risk of developing BIA-ALCL is low. However, if you have any questions, talk to your health care provider.
  • The symptoms of BIA-ALCL are primarily persistent swelling or pain near the breast implant. Monitor the area around your breast implants for any changes.
  • Per the Allergan press release: “If you experience any of these symptoms or other changes, talk to your health care provider regarding the need for further evaluation. Evaluation for BIA-ALCL typically involves a physical exam, imaging, and/or assessment of the fluid or tissue around the breast implant. It is important to undergo an evaluation to diagnose BIA-ALCL since a confirmed BIA-ALCL diagnosis may change the type of operation that should be performed.”

As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I am committed to my patients’ safety and health, before, during, and after their procedures. I perform many breast augmentations with breast implants and a number of other breast enhancement surgeries.

If you have any questions about breast augmentation or if you’re concerned about your existing breast implants, request a consultation online or call my office at (727) 289-7119.


Dr. Narasimhan is a double board-certified plastic surgeon and director of Narasimhan Plastic Surgery in St. Petersburg. He specializes in breast implants, lift, revision, and implant exchanges.

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