There has been a lot of buzz in the news lately regarding textured implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or ALCL or Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). So, let’s talk through the facts to understand what ALCL is and how it is related to textured implants.
ALCL is a form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is a cancer of the cells of the immune system. It is not a type of breast cancer. It is extremely rare and a treatable when detected. The national statistics associated with textured breast implants and ALCL is 1 in 80,000 women. As of November 2018, there were 626 cases reported of breast implanted associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma worldwide. There are between 5-10 million women who have had implants placed worldwide. When ALCL is detected early it is curable. So, the question then is what are the signs and symptoms so that you can identify ALCL early? Below are the signs and symptoms of ALCL related to textured implants:
It usually appears as swelling of the breast caused by fluid surrounding the implant and this usually occurs at least 1 year after surgery. Pain may be associated with rash, lumps or asymmetry of the breasts.
So, what do you do if you experience these symptoms? Call your plastic surgeon and typically treatment is removal of textured implants and replacing them with smooth silicone implants. As always it is best to talk to your board-certified plastic surgeon regarding breast implant associated ALCL.
Despite all the buzz about ALCL and textured implants, silicone implants are safe, and FDA approved for breast augmentation. The FDA has not made any recommendations to change your medical care or follow up nor do they recommend having them removed. You should contact your plastic surgeon right away if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned earlier. The earlier BI-ALCL is caught the better.
Is there a link between silicone gel breast implants and other illnesses? Scientific studies have not shown any relation to illness caused by gel implants outside of BI-ALCL, even conditions like autoimmune disorders or breast cancer.
Deciding whether to have breast augmentation is a big decision that requires knowing all the risks. Dr. Chad Robbins is a Mayo trained and board-certified plastic surgeon in Nashville, TN. To learn more about BI-ALCL or if breast augmentation is right for you, call us today at (615) 401-9454 or check us out online at www.robbinsplasticsurgery.com.