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Since 2011, the MHRA has been monitoring cases of a rare type of cancer in women fitted with breast implants. Experts have now called for a ban on the common breast implant since two people have died and 23 developed cancer following breast enlargement surgery in the UK.

Research on smooth and textured breast implants has revealed anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) may be linked to textured implants, which are thought to cause inflammation due to their slightly roughened surface.

Rough or smooth?

Breast augmentation is a very popular procedure in the UK with approximately 8,000 surgeries being carried out each year. Patients can select between smooth silicone implants and textured ones, which are slightly firmer. While the MHRA stressed it was not possible to confirm that the cancer was caused by the implants, cosmetic surgery expert Professor James Frame called it a “potential bombshell that has been swept under the carpet for five years”. He added “Textured implants should be banned. We should return to using smooth ones which were safe”.