Offers and News

2019 BRA Day Toronto Event

Throughout the course of my practice, I have seen many women who have undergone surgery to treat breast cancer and were unaware that there were opportunities available to them to reconstruct their breast. As a result, in 2011, I founded Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA Day). The vision and goals for this event were quite simple: provide education, access and awareness to women and their families regarding options for post mastectomy breast reconstruction.

In the inaugural year, we hosted 12 events across Canada. A logo was created with a variation of the pink ribbon that included a second internal loop. This ribbon, designed by my sister Lisa who was a cancer survivor, represented longevity and the concept that breast reconstruction plays a part in “closing the loop” on breast cancer.

With our initial success in Canada, BRA Day has now been adopted in over 30 countries around the world. It is estimated that BRA Day events have reached over 1 million participants worldwide.

The flagship Toronto event will take place this year at The Toronto Botanical Garden on Wednesday, October 16 from 6:30-10 pm. Attendance is free, but we ask you to register online in order for us to plan for number of attendees.

If you are interested in learning about options for breast reconstruction from local experts, please visit this link for more information:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/bra-day -toronto-flagship-2019-tickets-60750932675

Event Program

Doors open at 6:30 pm. Presentations start promptly at 7 pm.

  • Presentations from breast reconstruction surgeons and women who have had reconstruction and gone through this journey.
  • Show & Tell Lounge where women can see the real-life results of breast reconstruction and speak with women who have been through it.
  • Education Tables hosted by plastic surgeons who can answer your questions.
  • Exhibit Area with products and services to help women who have been affected by breast cancer
  • Snacks and Refreshments provided for all attendees

Presentation Schedule

Dr. Mitchell Brown – BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma) What you need to know.

Dr. John Semple – Implant Reconstruction – Pre-pectoral or under the muscle.

Dr. Joan Lipa – Managing the other breast.

Dr. Toni Zhong – Options for tissue (flap) reconstruction.

Patient Stories

Q&A

Education Tables

One-step direct to implant – Dr. John Semple, Women’s College Hospital
Reconstruction using implants – Dr. Mary-Helen Mahoney, North York General Hospital
Preventative (prophylactic) mastectomy – Dr. Mitchell Brown, Women’s College Hospital
Reconstruction using your own tissue – Dr. Joan Lipa, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Delayed reconstruction and radiation – Dr. Toni Zhong, University Health Network
Reconstruction options after lumpectomy – Dr. Melinda Musgrave, St. Michael’s Hospital
Post Surgery Recovery and Physiotherapy – Lindsay Davey & Lisa Chau, Registered Phyiotherapists
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer – Aletta Poll, Women’s College Hospital

 

ASPS Meeting and 5K Run in San Diego

Dr. Brown had a busy visit in San Diego at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual meeting. He was invited to give lectures on “Tips for avoiding complications in implant breast reconstruction” and “Long-term outcomes in breast augmentation”.

Dr. Brown also participated in the Close the Loop 5K run.

“This event, along with the annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day events held around the world every October, have evolved from 2011 when I initially founded BRA Day here in Canada.

I was proud to wear the “close the loop” ribbon that was creatively designed by my late sister Lisa!” – Dr. Mitchell Brown

Dr. Brown at the São Paulo Breast Symposium

Dr. Brown attended the São Paulo Breast Symposium in Brazil, where he gave talks on “Managing complications in breast implant surgery”, “Fat grafting to the breast”, “Shaping the breast with combined implants and lifting”, and participated on an international panel on the current status of ALCL.

Dr. Mitchell Brown with Dr. Ruth Graf from Brazil

 


Faculty dinner with Chairman Dr. Sampaio Goes of Brazil, Dr. Roy DeVita of Italy, Dr. Yoav Barnea of Israel, Dr. Ruth Graf of Brazil, Dr. Horacio Mayer of Argentina

Update from Dr. Brown on Breast Implant Safety and ALCL – August 2019

On July 24, 2019, Allergan announced that they were issuing a voluntary recall on their BIOCELL textured breast implants and tissue expanders. This announcement by Allergan has added to the concern and worry being experienced by many women with breast implants.

In Canada, Health Canada had taken action in advance of this decision by Allergan when they announced the suspension of Allergan’s license for its BIOCELL breast implants on May 28, 2019.

The primary reason for this suspension and recall has been a recognized association between a rare type of lymphoma and textured surface medical devices. We initially wrote about Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in our blog post of December 12, 2018.

See blog post: Update on Breast Implant Safety and ALCL – Dec 2018

It is important to know that to date, due to the low risk of developing BIA-ALCL, there has been no recommendation from regulatory agencies including Health Canada and the FDA to remove or replace textured breast implants or tissue expanders in women who are asymptomatic and have a normal examination.

I would like to provide some background and share some information regarding these recent events. In Canada, most breast implants and tissue expanders have been made and distributed by two companies (Allergan and Mentor). Both companies make implants and expanders that have one of two surfaces: smooth and textured.

Why might you have a textured surface breast implant?

There are several advantages to a textured surface implant. When using a shaped (teardrop, anatomic) implant or expander, the texturing assists in holding the implant in position so that it does not rotate. In fact, all shaped implants are textured. In the past, texturing has also been felt to decrease the incidence of some of the more common complications associated with breast implants including hardening (capsular contracture) and implants shifting out of position (malposition).

The actual cause of BIA-ALCL remains unclear but one of the most accepted theories is that bacteria may find their way into the crevices or spaces within the textured surface and stimulate an inflammatory response that in a small number of patients may eventually lead to lymphoma.

What do we suggest for our patients?

Late in 2018, our office began a process of trying to contact all of our patients with textured surface breast implants to notify them of this new information, explain what patients should look out for and to suggest that they contact our office to come for a follow-up visit that would include a discussion of patient options. This approach has been helpful in allowing us to speak to and assess many of our previous patients dating back to 2002.

If you are a patient of Dr. Brown and you have not received an email from us, it may be because you have smooth surfaced implants or it may be that we were unable to find updated contact information for you.

We encourage all of our patients to contact the office so that we can confirm for you the type of implant that you have. If you have a textured surface implant we would like to assist you in arranging a follow-up visit or if not possible for you to attend in person, then it will give us an opportunity to provide you with necessary information and to answer your questions. Additionally, all women with breast implants, regardless of the type, benefit from ongoing follow-up of their medical devices and we hope that you will continue to come for complimentary annual or biannual assessments at our office.

Please contact us with any questions or to arrange an appointment.

Dr. Mitchell Brown

Links

Allergan Voluntarily Recalls BIOCELL® Textured Breast Implants and Tissue Expanders
https://www.allergan.com/news/news/thomson-reuters/allergan-voluntarily-recalls-biocell-textured-brea

Health Canada suspends Allergan’s licences for its Biocell breast implants after safety review concludes an increased risk of cancer
https://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2019/70045a-eng.php