You may have heard recent media reports regarding textured breast implants and an uncommon form of cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
In July, the breast implant manufacturer Allergan issued a voluntary withdrawl of its Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders from the market.
To those patients I have cared for, I do NOT use textured implants.
BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer. It is an uncommon but treatable type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL in women who have had only “smooth surface” breast implants or tissue expanders.
Due to the low risk of developing BIA-ALCL, the FDA does NOT recommend for women with textured breast implants to have them removed unless they are experiencing symptoms. The most common symptom is a collection of fluid around the implant or swelling, but symptoms may also include pain, a lump in the breast or lymph node in the armpit, rash, fever, weight-loss or unexpected changes in breast shape, including asymmetry.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, I encourage you to contact my office. I will perform an evaluation and order the appropriate tests to determine if any treatment is indicated. Your health and safety will always be my top priority.
Women who develop BIA-ALCL are usually cured by removing the implant and the scar tissue surrounding it. Some patients may require additional treatment (such as radiation or chemotherapy).
For additional information about BIA-ALCL, the website of the America Society of Plastic Surgeons (PlasticSurgery.org/ALCL
) offers a great deal of information for patients. Of course, I will also make myself available to personally answer any of your questions and concerns.
I appreciate the trust you placed in me when you selected me to be your plastic surgeon. Rest assured that I will continue to monitor any developments, and I will keep you informed of any new information.