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Breast Implant Associated ALCL (BIA-ALCL)

The New York Times published an article on March 21, 2017 about the incidence of a rare lymphoma related to breast implants. This article references an FDA report, “Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).” This is a rare and treatable type of T-Cell lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. BIA-ALCL is not the more commonly diagnosed cancer of the breast tissue itself.

Click here to read the FDA’s most recent article on BIA-ALCL.
The FDA as well as the Institute of Medicine (IOM) maintain that breast implants do not impair breast health or cause breast cancer, and scientific evidence continues to support that FDA-approved breast implants have a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness according to a joint statement issued by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

Breast implant associated-ALCL is very rare, and if it occurs, is highly treatable in the majority of patients. The FDA, ASPS, and ASAPS recommend that all women, including those with breast implants, follow their normal routine in medical care and follow-up, including mammography when appropriate. There is no recommendation to remove textured implants at this time.

Our current recommendations are:
1. Manage your breast health as you currently do. No additional testing is necessary.
2. If you see any acute changes in your breast(s), contact our practice. Our medical team of clinicians is well trained to evaluate any complication. Most of the identified patients have presented with a late stage or delayed seroma (swelling of the breast well after the augmentation surgery).
3. Check our blog which we will be updating with any changes in recommendations.

Although the incidence of BIA-ALCL is rare, we understand your concern. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our practice at (303)278-2600 and we can schedule some time with one of our medical clinicians or your surgeon.

Dr. Andrew Wolfe, Dr. Steven Vath, and Dr. Paul Steinwald

Additional links:

Documents referenced:

Joint ASPS & ASAPS Statement on Breast Implant-Associated ALCL

“Best Practices” Breast Implant Associated ALCL

ASPS/ASAPS Update Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) Quick Facts and FAQs

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