NOVI, Mich., Oct. 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As many as 2 million women in the U.S. have breast implants. Executive Plastic Surgery’s Dr. Shaher W. Khan wants to remove them all.
In recent weeks, multiple news stories have appeared on CNN and NBC, and in publications ranging from the New York Times to The Lancet—all talking about the FDA’s latest warning and how implants are linked to cancer.
“It is about time the media is paying attention to this issue,” Dr. Khan says. “I have been talking about breast implant illness for many, many years. But no one has been listening because breast augmentation is often covered by insurance, is a relatively safe procedure, and it is extremely lucrative for plastic surgeons.”
But it can be a death sentence for those receiving the transplants, he cautions. “Textured implants were taken off the market because of the lymphoma connection,” Dr. Khan notes, referring to textured implants previously marketed by Allergan. The company recalled its Biocell textured breast implants in 2019 after the FDA linked them to a rare cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
The September warning from the US Food and Drug Administration addresses squamous cell carcinoma and lymphomas forming in the capsule or scar tissue around breast implants. But cancer is not the only symptom associated with breast implants. Dr. Khan says breast implant illness covers a variety of ailments ranging from changes in taste, hair loss, problems with breathing, joint problems, fatigue, brain fog, fibromyalgia symptoms and many more. Manufacturers highlight these risks in their pamphlets, but patients don’t always read the fine print and may not fully understand the risk.
“Patients need to educate themselves on what they are signing up for,” Dr. Khan advises. “Listen to the FDA warning. This raises a lot of red flags. There are three things that I want to emphasize. Number one, implants are not meant to be in the body forever. Number two, the implants are associated with lymphoma. The third thing is that the implants are associated with breast implant illness.”
In his entire career, Dr. Khan has completed a single breast augmentation surgery – a requirement to become a board-certified plastic surgeon with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Instead, he has focused his extensive career on “en bloc” removal of implants. The term refers to the complete removal of a breast implant while it is still encased in the entire scar tissue capsule that surrounds it.
His position on implants is not a common one—nor a popular one—among surgeons who perform the procedure. He attributes this to the fact that completing implant surgery is fairly low risk for patients while highly lucrative for surgeons. It takes about 30 minutes per breast, and surgeons can be performing as many as 20 a week. Many of his peers also are skeptical about the long-term impact of implants and continue to do augmentations and replacement surgeries.
“What keeps me going are my patients and how happy they are after their explants,” he says.
Once the foreign objects are removed from their bodies, he says the women see immediate improvement in their health. “That is what makes this worthwhile, seeing my patients afterward and seeing that difference in their quality of life.”
Dr. Khan encourages women whose implants are older than seven years to take special precautions because that is about the lifespan of the implants before most patients begin experiencing health problems.
Dr. Shaher Khan is a Michigan-based plastic surgeon specializing in the en bloc removal of breast implants. He advocates extensively against the use of implants due to health risks associated with implants. He is certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and provides a variety of reconstructive surgeries in his practice. Learn more at Executive Plastic Surgeon.
Dr. Shaher W. Khan
Executive Plastic Surgery
Breast Implant Removal
SOURCE Executive Plastic Surgery