The American Society of Plastic Surgery released an updated position statement earlier this month regarding the risk of a rare and highly treatable type of lymphoma that can develop around breast implants, particularly those with textured surfaces. Although the risk is very small, we want to ensure patients are informed with the latest information.
Cases of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) may develop more than one year, but on average 8-10 years, after receiving an implant. Symptoms may include breast enlargement, pain, asymmetry, lump in the breast or armpit, overlying skin rash, hardening of the breast, or a large fluid collection.
Dr. Rosenthal wants to encourage women experiencing any of the above symptoms to get their breast implants evaluated. For patients diagnosed early, surgery is performed to remove both the breast implant and the scar capsule around it. Patients with more advanced forms of BIA-ALCL may require further treatment including chemotherapy.
Again, these cases are very rare. As of May 2, 2018, ASPS has recognized approximately 201 cases of BIA-ALCL in the U.S. and a total of only 529 worldwide since 1996. Cases involve silicone and saline implants that have been utilized in both cancer reconstruction and cosmetic patients.
The exact cause of this cancer is unknown. In general, BIA-ALCL patients seem to experience an allergic reaction primarily to implant devices with textured surfaces.
These BIA-ALCL resources are available:
What Patients Need to Know: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/Health-Policy/ALCL/ALCL-Brochure-Trifold.pdf
The Plastic Surgery Foundation: thepsf.org/PROFILE
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons: plasticsurgery.org/alcl
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/questions-and-answers-about-breast-implant-associated-anaplastic-large-cell-lymphoma-bia-alcl
We’re here to help. Contact our office should you have any questions. If you are experiencing symptoms, call us today to schedule an appointment: (561) 880-8866.