Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma BIA-ALCL

By Carmel Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons on September 13, 2019

Breast implant

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare condition which can develop following the placement of textured breast implants. This type of anaplastic large cell lymphoma typically deveolps near the implant within the capsule that the body naturally forms around the implant.  The lymphoma forms within scar tissue of the implant capsule rather than in the breast tissue itself. It is important to understand that BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer.  The incidence of BIA-ALCL is very low, according to the FDA. Since the initial case report in 1997, the American Society of Plastic Suregons now recognizes approximately 293 cases* in the US and a total of 779* worldwide.  *Statisitcs as of 9.3.19


Persistent pain or swelling around a breast implant, on one side only, is the most common symptom of BIA-ALCL. This would occur not less than one year after the textured implant placement, but typically around 8-9 years after placement of a textured implant.  Patients also sometimes report a lump under the skin or capsular contracture usually on one side only. So far, the FDA has found no significant link between silicone implants or saline implants and the development of this condition, only the type of outer covering of the implant (textured vs. smooth). If you are unsure what type of implants you have, contact the plastic surgeon that placed them. 

On July 24, 2019, the FDA asked Allergan to remove their Biocell textured breast implants from the USA market, which is being done.  Mentor textured implants are not part of this recall. All smooth breast implants are still considered safe by the FDA.  At this time, the FDA is not recommending that women with any type textured implants, have them removed or exchanged, unless they are having symptoms or problems with the textured breast implants.


For more information on the FDA findings on implants, visit their website. You may also contact our office to speak with a member of our team if you have specific questions regarding your implants.

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