You may have heard recent media reports regarding breast implants and a rare form of cancer. The FDA recently updated information regarding this disease (Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)). The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is working closely with the FDA in monitoring the disease.
BIA-ALCL is not a breast cancer, but a rare and treatable T-cell lymphoma that usually develops as a fluid swelling around breast implants.
The lifetime risk for this disease appears to be about 1 case for every 30,000 textured implants. This equates to a 0.003 percent risk.
Thus far, there have been no confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL in women who have had only “smooth-surface” breast implants.
At the Bougainvillea Clinique we have utilized almost exclusively smooth surfaced implants for the last 20 years.
The FDA is not recommending removal of textured implants. Rather, the FDA recommends, as do I, that every woman conduct regular self-examination. If you develop swelling or a lump in your breast, contact my office right away. I will comprehensively evaluate you and order the appropriate tests to determine if any treatment is indicated.
Women who develop BIA-ALCL can often be cured by simply removing the implant and the scar tissue surrounding it. Some patients may require additional treatment (such as radiation or chemotherapy). Following removal, replacement with a smooth surface implant may be an option.
For additional information about BIA-ALCL, consult the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website at www.plasticsurgery.org/alcl. Of course, I am happy to answer your questions personally.
I greatly appreciate having you as one of my patients, and will continue to monitor these developments closely. I promise to keep you informed of any new developments.