Local Complications and Adverse Outcomes after Explant

The following is a list of local complications and adverse outcomes that may occur after Explant Surgery. They are listed in alphabetical order—not in order of prevalence.

  • Asymmetry—when breasts are uneven in appearance in terms of size, shape, or breast level
  • Breast feeding difficulties
  • Breast pain
  • Breast sagging, also called “ptosis”
  • Chest wall deformity—when the chest wall or underlying rib cage appears deformed
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Hematoma—collection of blood near the surgical site or pocket
  • Infection, including Toxic Shock Syndrome—when during explant surgery, wounds are contaminated with micro-organisms, such as bacteria or fungi
  • Inflammation or irritation
  • Necrosis—when there is dead skin or tissue around the breast
  • Nipple or breast changes, including change in or loss of nipple sensation
  • Redness or bruising
  • Reoperation—additional surgeries
  • Scarring
  • Seroma—the collection of fluid in the pocket
  • Skin rash
  • Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes, also called “lymphedema or lymphadenopathy”
  • Thinning and shrinking of the skin, also called “breast tissue atrophy”
  • Unsatisfactory appearance

If you experience any of the local complications listed above after breast implant surgery, you may need specific treatments, including additional surgery. Maintain an active role in your health care and inform your doctor immediately if you experience any new health issues.

Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)

Recent scientific reports have suggested a possible association between anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and breast implants. The FDA is aware of approximately 60 case reports of ALCL in women with breast implants worldwide. ALCL is a rare type of lymphoma or cancer involving cells of the immune system. In women with breast implants, ALCL is generally found next to the implant itself and is usually contained within the fibrous capsule that the body forms around the implant. ALCL is not breast cancer.

Most of the breast implant patients found to have ALCL were diagnosed after they sought medical treatment for implant-related symptoms such as pain, lumps, swelling, or asymmetry that developed after their initial surgical sites had fully healed. In most cases, the ALCL was treated with surgery to remove the implant and surrounding scar tissue. Some patients also received radiation therapy, chemotherapy or both.

Women with breast implants may have an increased risk of developing ALCL, though current literature indicates that the risk is extremely low. If you have breast implants, there is no need to change your routine medical care and follow-up.