What is it:
BIA-ALCL stands for Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. This is a very rare and highly treatable type of lymphoma that can develop around Textured implants:
- Typically, it develops between 8 and 12 years after textured implants are placed.
- It can occur with either saline & silicone Textured Implants.
- NO cases have been reported when only Smooth Implants were used.
The Lymphoma was recently in the news because:
- Textured implants have been recalled or banned in over 40 countries.
- Allergan Textured implants were recently recalled in the US.
- Over 600 cases and over 30 deaths are now reported in the world from this disease from over millions of women with textured implants.
- The most common sign of this disorder is rapid enlargement of the breast. (80% of patients with BIA-ALCL exhibit this sign).
- Lump in the breast area and or armpit
- Fluid Collection
- If a patient is asymptomatic (none of the above problems) it is very unlikely they have BIA-ALCL
- Schedule a consultation with me or any Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
- If needed, an Ultrasound and/or MRI will be ordered
- The treatment is called an en-bloc capsulectomy and Implant removal (where both the implant and the capsule/scar tissue around the breast implant are removed in one piece.) The important consideration is to remove the capsule around the implant completely.
Are You Concerned About Your Implants or Know Someone That Is?
Do you have smooth or textured implants?
- If you are not having symptoms – this is not an emergency. If you have the classic symptoms of breast enlargement (typically double in size), a lump in the breast or a fluid collection, you will want to see a Plastic Surgeon urgently.
- If you have smooth implants– there has never been a case of BIA-ALCL with smooth implants. However, if you are having symptoms or concerns, schedule an elective appointment to discuss further with your Plastic Surgeon.
- If you have textured implants – do you know the manufacturer/company that made your implants?
- Mentor or Sientra textured implants have not been recalled and have a much lower rate of this malignancy. That said if you would like to come in and discuss this, schedule an appointment.
- Allergan textured implants have been recalled as they have an unacceptably high rate of BIA-ALCL. The FDA is not recommending removal at this time. However, even if you are not having symptoms, you may want to consider removing your implants (and capsules) to minimize your risk in the future. Schedule a consult with a surgeon you trust.
- All textured implants have some risk of this malignancy. The FDA is not recommending removal at this time. However, even if you are not having symptoms, you may want to consider removing your implants (and capsules) to minimize your risk in the future. Schedule a consult with a surgeon you trust.
If you don’t know what kind of implants you have:
- If you are a patient of Dr. Spies, Call (480-890-0600) or email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org We will do everything we can to help you determine your implant type.
- For legal reasons, your medical records are retained for 7 years and then often stored or even destroyed. Most practices will do everything that we can to help identify your implants.
- If your records are no longer on file:
- You can call either Mentor, Allergan or Sientra with your surgical date and they can try and assist in finding you in their implant database.
We truly hope that this has been informative and helpful. We are here to answer questions and assist in any way that we can.
Robert J. Spies, MD