You may have heard recent media reports regarding textured breast implants and a rare associated lymphoma called implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma BIA-ALCL. In July 2019 Allergan issued a voluntary worldwide withdrawal of their unused BIOCELL® textured implant products and tissue expanders. At this time, the likelihood of developing BIA-ALCL is thought to be low, occurring in less than 0.03% of patients with BIOCELL® textured breast implants. These are the latest facts and recommendations from Dr. Michael Suzman, plastic surgeon at Westmed Medical Group.
What kind of breast implants were recalled and why?
Allergan BIOCELL® textured breast implants and tissue expanders were removed from the market because of a link to an uncommon form of cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
What is BIA-ALCL?
BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer. It is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. This condition is very treatable by removing the implant and the capsule around it. In most cases, no other treatment is required, though advanced cases may require radiation or chemotherapy.
What are the symptoms of BIA-ALCL?
The most common symptom is a collection of fluid around the implant or swelling that may develop many years after implant placement. If you are experiencing any symptoms of concern, it is important that you contact your plastic surgeon or breast surgeon . Your doctor will be able to perform an evaluation and order the appropriate tests to determine if any treatment is indicated.
If I have textured implants, what should I do?
The FDA does NOT recommend removal of textured breast implants unless a patient is experiencing symptoms. See your physician if you develop a breast lump or any abnormal swelling or changes.
For additional information about BIA-ALCL, the website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (PlasticSurgery.org/ALCL) offers a great deal of information for patients. Please be assured that Westmed will continue to monitor any developments, and will keep you informed of any new information.