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Public Interest In Allergan BiocellŪ Textured Implants Recall: A Google Trends Analysis
Fara Dayani, B.S.1, Jonathan Tijerina, M.A.2, Shane Morrison, M.D., M.S.3, Rahim S. Nazerali, MD, MHS, FACS4.
1UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2Stanford Univeristy, Stanford, CA, USA, 3University of Washington, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seattle, WA, USA, 4Stanford University. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford, CA, USA.

PURPOSE: Large-scale media coverage of healthcare outcomes can have a profound influence on healthcare utilization and medical decisions by the general population. In current clinical practice, there are no objective tools and resources to measure public interest in medical procedures related to plastic and reconstructive. Google Trends (GT) is a free, online resource that allows for tracking of global search volumes as a proxy for determining public interest. In this study, we utilize GT to characterize measurable effects on public interest in breast implant removal procedures and BIA-ALCL following March 2019 FDA Advisory Committee Meeting, which resulted in issuing warning letters to implant manufacturers and July 2019 public statements by the FDA and Allergan announcing the voluntary recall of BIOCELLŪ textured breast implants.
METHODS: GT databases of search volumes were collected for terms related to 3 categories:Allergan BIOCELLŪ textured breast implants, Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), and breast implant removal, from January 2004 to October 2019 using the "related queries" feature. The percent change from the month preceding statements from Allergan and the FDA recalling the BIOCELLŪ implant was compared to the month of the announcement for each search term.
RESULTS: Following Allergan's recall announcement in July 2019, public interest in "textured breast implants", "allergan breast implant", and "allergan biocell" all peaked in July 2019 and rose 455.5%, 669.23%, and 900.0%, respectively. Public interest in BIA-ALCL- related terms also increased with percentage change of 175%, 100%, and 200% for "anaplastic large-cell lymphoma cancer," "anaplastic large cell lymphoma," "anaplastic large cell lymphoma breast implant." Long term interest in implant removal related terms was determined with respect to FDA Advisory Committee Meeting in March 2019. Long term interest in "breast implant removal" , "breast implant removal and lift" , "breast explant", and "breast implant removal surgery" was higher after March 2019 than beforehand for all terms (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: GT data trends correlate with shifts in real-world healthcare utilization and health care-related public interest caused by high-profile media coverage, making it a useful tool for providers for real-time prediction of trends in public health in response to a variety of observable influences.


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