Breast implant surgery: An overview of the risks and health complications


We present an overview of the risks and health complications associated with breast implant surgery with a focus on breast implant illness (BII), breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), and breast implant-associated squamous cell carcinoma (BIA-SCC). BII is a constellation of systemic symptoms that can occur after breast implant devices are surgically implanted into the human body. BIA-ALCL is a T-cell lymphoma associated with the implantation of textured breast implant devices. BIA-SCC is a potentially aggressive epithelial-based tumor that can occur following implantation with smooth or textured breast implant devices. Nurses may lack awareness and knowledge regarding BII, BIA-ALCL, and BIA-SCC, and this can negatively affect patient safety. Therefore, it is essential that all nurses, especially members of the plastic and aesthetic nursing community, understand these disease processes. Currently, it is not standard practice to screen every patient for the presence of an implantable device at every health care encounter. However, by not doing so, health care professionals may miss the opportunity to identify illness, disease, or cancer that could be related to an implanted device; therefore, practice changes to increase patient safety are both necessary and warranted. To identify those individuals at greatest risk for implant-related illness, disease, or cancer, we propose implementing universal screening of all individuals for implantable devices. We define universal screening for implantable devices as assessing all patients for the presence or absence of an implantable device at every health care encounter. We recommend using the IOWA model to guide our proposed evidence-based practice update.

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