Mercy Medical Center plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Brian A. Pryor called the Food and Drug Administration’s concurrence Tuesday of a link between a rare form of cancer and breast implants “significant,” and further indication of the need for ongoing patient education around the procedure.

“Any negative ramification from any cosmetic or reconstructive surgery is significant and not something to be dismissed,” Pryor said.

He termed any such ramification, in this case the FDA saying it had nine reports of deaths from breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, “another layer of discussion to have with patients.”

“Two weeks ago, I spent a significant amount of time talking about the benefits and risks of breast augmentation with a patient to help her put them in perspective and make an educated decision on whether to proceed, keeping in mind the FDA and American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommendations,” Pryor said.

He added that he was not surprised by the FDA’s announcement, saying that both the FDA and ASPS have been tracking an association between breast implants and the rare T-cell lymphoma since 2011. He called it an “update” on existing literature and registries tracking the association worldwide, and noted that neither organization has changed its recommendations on implants as a result of Tuesday’s announcement.

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