BIA-ALCL & Allergan Recall
There has been recent attention in the media regarding a rare condition called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). While breast implants have been studied for more than three decades, they rarely produce significant adverse side effects. Worldwide, there have been up to 735 cases of BIA-ALCL identified, nearly all of which involved textured implants. While no cases have been documented directly from placement of smooth implants, some of these patients may have had textured implants at one time. Our practice has placed implants for more than 3,000 patients, over a 35-year period, and we have never personally seen this rare condition, but statistically we may encounter a patient with BIA-ALCL in the future.
The condition is very treatable when caught early. Common symptoms include breast enlargement, pain, asymmetry, lump in the breast or armpit, overlying skin rash, or a large fluid collection. These symptoms typically do not develop until on average 8 to 10 years after receiving the implant. If any of these symptoms occur, please contact our practice so that you can be properly evaluated. If necessary, treatment of BIA-ALCL involves removing the implant and surrounding scar tissue capsule.
Last week one implant manufacturer, Allergan, recalled their non-implanted supply of textured expanders and implants. The FDA does not recommend prophylactic removal of textured implants in patients that are not experiencing adverse signs or symptoms. We agree with this recommendation. We encourage all patients to be evaluated routinely and recommend yearly follow up appointments with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons: Doctors Douglas Forman, Roger Friedman and Kathy Huang
For more information about BIA-ALCL and breast implants and the recent recall by Allergan you can visit these sites: