En Bloc Capsulectomy for Breast Implant Illness: A Social Media Phenomenon?

Grace Keane, David Chi, Austin Y. Ha, Terence M. Myckatyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: En bloc capsulectomy has recently increased in prominence as a potential surgical therapy for patients with breast implant illness (BII). However, this procedure has chiefly been recommended for treating breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Objectives: This study aimed to review the current literature and evaluate the public understanding of treatment options for BII via social media to characterize any potential communication disconnect between clinicians and patients. Methods: An electronic literature review was performed to identify all available publications mentioning evidence-based support for en bloc capsulectomy as treatment for BII and BIA-ALCL. Twitter social media posts referencing BII or BIA-ALCL were analyzed from 2010 to 2019. Author identity and any mention of surgical treatment were assessed. Results: A total of 115 publications on the subject of BII and 315 articles on BIA-ALCL were identified. En bloc resection was recommended only for patients with a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL. A total of 6419 tweets referencing BII and 6431 tweets referencing BIA-ALCL were identified. Tweets referencing BIA-ALCL were significantly more likely to be authored by physicians (25.9% vs 5.3%, P < 0.001), and tweets referencing BII were significantly more likely to mention any surgical treatment (7.8% vs 1.9%, P < 0.001) and en bloc capsulectomy (1.4% vs 0.3%, P < 0.001). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that a communication disconnect exists between the scientific literature and social media regarding treatment options for BII and BIA-ALCL. Physicians should be aware of these potential misconceptions to empathetically address patient concerns in a patient-centered manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-459
Number of pages12
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


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