Latest Information on BIA-ALCL

March,  2019 Update on BIA-ALCL
Dear Patient, 
You may have heard recent media reports regarding breast implants and a rare form of cancer.   The FDA recently updated information regarding this disease (Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL.)  The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is working closely with the FDA in monitoring this disease. BIA-ALCL is not a breast cancer, but a rare and treatable T-Cell lymphoma that usually develops as a fluid swelling around breast implants. The current lifetime risk if BIA-ALCL is 1:3,817 to 1:30,000 in women with textured implants based on the several hundred cases found out of millions of women with breast implants. Again, to reassure you, this condition is extremely rare, and I have never seen a case in over 30 years of breast implant practice.  The cases have predominantly occurred in one brand of implants that has a different process of texturing the implant surface compared to the brand that I predominantly use. Thus far, there have been no confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL in women who have had only “smooth surface” breast implants.  The FDA is not recommending removal of textured implants.  Rather, they recommend, as do I, that every woman conduct regular self-examinations, periodic breast examination by your doctor and getting mammograms/breast imaging as recommended for your age. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact me.  Or, if you develop swelling or a lump in your breast, of course, contact me right away. Simply removing the implant and the scar tissue surrounding it can often cure women who develop BIA-ALCL.  Some patients may require additional treatment. Following removal, replacement with a smooth surface implant may be an option. For additional information, visit  www.plasticsurgery.org/alcl. Or contact my office at 858-452-6226. I greatly appreciate having you as one of my patients and will continue to monitor these developments closely.  I will keep you informed of any new developments. Sincerely, Marialyn Sardo, MD, FACS