With a recent news article about breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), this rare disease has gotten more notice. Here are the important facts:
- BIA-ALCL has been recognized since 2011, and to date there have been 359 medical device reports made to the FDA (though these are unconfirmed, and may be duplicates). To give you perspective, around 550,000 breast implants are placed per year.
- BIA-ALCL is associated with textured breast implants, and the lifetime risk is 1:30,000 women who have these kinds of implants.
- Most implants are smooth (over 80% of implants), the texture is added for anatomic-shaped implants to help prevent rotation and displacement.
- The recently popular anatomic cohesive gel implants (“Gummy bear”) are generally textured; only one company, Mentor, has started to offer smooth anatomic cohesive gel implants.
- When treated appropriately, 93% of patients with BIA-ALCL are disease-free.
- What to look for: swelling suggesting a fluid collection around the implant, more than one year after implant placement.
If you have any concerns, please do see your breast or plastic surgeon. Here is more information from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.