Working to Make Implants Even Safer
Dr. Eric Culbertson, who performs breast augmentation surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area at The Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery, is currently writing a paper related to reducing the chance of breast implant-related complications. His work is focusing specifically on breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, which is a cancer-like disease. BIA-ALCL, as it is known, has been linked to breast implants—and textured implants in particular.
Bacteria and biofilms (microorganisms that group together to form a thin slime) that may be harbored by these implants seem to play a role in post-surgical problems, such as capsular contracture and BIA-ALCL. Capsular contracture has been shown to be less of a problem if a 14-point plan is implemented in an effort to reduce the levels of bacteria on and around the implants.
Dr. Culbertson’s current research follows a paper he recently published with colleagues in September 2017, titled “Macrotextured Breast Implants with Defined Steps to Minimize Bacterial Contamination Around the Device: Experience in 42,000 Implants.” He and his fellow authors theorized that following a plan to reduce bacteria at the time of surgery, which has been shown to decrease the incidence of capsular contracture, can also reduce cases of BIA-ALCL. This important work appeared as the cover article in the premier plastic surgery journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
This research is happening as national media are taking an increased interest in the subject. The New York Times reported in May on risks related to textured implants, including breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. Dr. Culbertson’s current research, for which he won a grant to conduct, is focusing on the use of antibiotics applied during the surgery itself to minimize such complications.