Breast Implants and ALCL

Steven Ringler, MD

If you have saline or silicone breast implants or are considering breast augmentation, you may have heard the news recently about a possible link between breast implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). This is an extremely rare form of cancer, and the FDA is aware of approximately 34 cases of ALCL in women with breast implants worldwide since 1989. Statistics indicate that approximately 10 million women worldwide have breast implants.

While lymphomas can appear anywhere in the body, this condition appears in the scar tissues that forms around breast implants. It is encouraging that when this condition occurs in the presence of breast implants, the patients have responded to a variety of treatments, including simple removal of the implant and surrounding scar capsule.

The FDA, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons remain confident that breast implants are safe and effective. They are the most studied medical devices in the world. The FDA is not recommending that women with breast implants have them removed. However, if a woman experiences pain or swelling around the implant, they should see their plastic surgeon for evaluation.

The FDA and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are establishing a registry of ALCL patients who have breast implants to better understand the association of breast implants and ALCL.

For more information concerning breast implants and ALCL, visit: www.breastimplantsafety.org

Posted in: Breast Surgery

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