Got CANCER and a 17-month-long Seroma from my Implants, Now Forced to Have Them Removed with Even Bigger Scar. - Toronto, ON

I got my Allergan 410 Naturelle cohesive gel...

I got my Allergan 410 Naturelle cohesive gel biocell textured implants back in 2006. Just over six years later my right breast swelled up to double the size. No doctors could figure it out. Finally, 17 months later, Dr. Tracy Pfeifer in NYC (who is great) figured it out and I got tests done and it's definitely cancer caused by the implants. A type of lymphoma (that's not as rare as surgeons would have you believe, because nobody tests for it, I'm guessing on purpose) called ALCL is caused by getting implants of all types (silicone and saline). Anyhow, I have to have them permanently removed with most of the capsule, which the surgeon tells me is going to leave me looking not-so-great, and with a much larger scar than they needed to put them in (not to mention very expensive). I wish I'd never gotten them. Nobody told me about all the risks, and the ones I knew about I figured wouldn't happen to me -- but the worst-case-scenario did happen to me. Don't think it can't happen to you.

Logic dictates that the stats on how many women get ALCL are totally wrong

I think that the stats on how many women get ALCL are completely wrong. It only makes sense that way way more women get this and are simply not tested for it correctly (it requires very specific type of testing that can only be done in certain major top cancer centers, and many doctors would accidentally put the biopsy specimen in formaldehyde which would kill the lymphoma cells and product a negative result, for example, or they would do the wrong test, which happened to me several times before the correct one was done at Memorial Sloan). Also, I saw five top NYC surgeons (both in private practice and at the top hospitals here) and a slew of doctors and NONE of them thought to test for ALCL despite the fact that I had a recurring seroma for 18 months. My mom read about ALCL and I had to go get tested on my own to find out I had it. So, if I had that experience in the upper east side of NYC, then imagine someone living in Oklahoma or Brasil... there's almost no chance they'd get tested, or tested correctly. Also, the treatment is to remove the implant and capsule before it spreads and needs chemo... I imagine that most of the women who've had seromas did this without realizing that it was cancer and were just lucky that it didn't spread... or it did spread and they assumed it was regular Lymphoma. See my point? The FDA numbers can't possibly be correct.

FYI

FYI: My seroma came and went about every two months for the first year, and then stayed large for the past 8 months. I also had an itchy rash on my calves and arms (probably a reaction to the inflammation).

I'm having surgery to have the implants removed this month, at Memorial Sloan in NYC. They don't think I should put new ones in, but I plan on putting smooth gel ones in (using Dr Tracy Pfeifer) after I heal fully, in 3 to 6 months. No way am I going to wear a training bra for the rest of my life!

Surgeons don't want to test for ALCL cancer....

I think that PS's in general don't test for ALCL (which 100% is cancer - it's lymphoma!) because they don't want more people on record as having it. So, instead, they just do the recommended treatment (without the testing to see if it has spread), and remove the implants, and cross their fingers. If the lymphoma has already spread, or spreads after that, now there's no way to prove it was breast implant associated. :(
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

He did a good job, inadequate followup. Even when I approached him with a massive seroma he didn't tell me I should get tested for implant-caused ALCL (lymphoma) cancer (100% caused BY the implants), and because of that I've had cancer for an extra 17 months and it might have spread.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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