Within the last year, the discussion of breast implants and their correlation to illness and rare cancers have been brought to the attention of not only the American public, but the world as a whole.   This has created great concern not for women who currently have breast implants, but for those considering breast augmentation or reconstruction.   Whether you have implants for breast augmentation or reconstructive purposes, the unsettling news has brought forth new questions about the overall safety of breast implants. 

BIA-ALCL or (Breast Implant –Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma) is a rare cancer that has been identified to have a correlation with textured breast implants.  Keep in mind, most implants used in the United States are the smooth type, but there are some patients with textured implants.  This is not a cancer of the breast tissue itself, but of the capsule surrounding the implant.  In the majority of cases, once the implant is removed, the disease is resolved.  If the disease is advanced, which is very rare, chemotherapy may be needed.  

Symptoms of the condition may include swelling, redness, changes in firmness or lumps around one or both implant(s). If you are experiencing these or any other symptoms, please contact us for an appointment. In the vast majority of patients, these symptoms are not serious and may or may not require treatment. 

Symptoms of the condition may include swelling, redness, changes in firmness or lumps around one or both implant(s). If you are experiencing these or any other symptoms, please contact us for an appointment. In the vast majority of patients, these symptoms are not serious and may or may not require treatment. 

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) continue to be active participants in ongoing discussions with the FDA related to the conditions that appear to have correlation with breast implants.  ASAPS has put out some useful information for patients and prospective patients in regards to the current status of breast implants, as clinical information continues to evolve.  Visit this link on the ASAPS website to see some common questions regarding breast implants and cancer risk. 

It is recommended that all implant patients seek out medical information from qualified, board-certified surgeons.  They should have an understanding of this rare cancer and be able to fully explain to you any and all risks associated with breast implants.  It is always in your best interest to continue to remain diligent in monitoring your breast health, and go for mammograms scheduled by your physician and to perform self-breast exams.  If at any time you notice any abnormalities within the breast or any significant changes, contact your doctor immediately so you can receive treatment if necessary.  We will continue to update this blog as additional information becomes available on this very important topic.