The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has published new guidelines for protection against the development of BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma).
BIA-ALCL is an unusual type of lymphoma that forms near breast implants, and develops such a tumor in the breast between 3 and 14 years after breast implant insertion. This tumor occurs as a result of fluid retention at the implant, or such a lump in the chest or armpit.
BIA-ALCL is not associated with breast cancer as it does not involve the breast tissue itself but is usually enclosed in a fibrous capsule around the implant.
Common symptoms are increasing volume of the chest, lump in the chest or armpit. The risk for BIA-ALCL is estimated at 1 per 50,000. In perspective, the risk of breast cancer is 1 in 8 women. It is not possible to predict who is going to get this disease. It can happen with both saline and silicone implants.
The diagnosis is done through a sample of tissue fluid (cytology and CD30).
The treatment consists of removal of implants and capsule. In all known cases, this was a 100% effective treatment of BIA-ALCL. New implants can be inserted at a later date.
NOTE! Breast implants are not lifelong, and generally must always be replaced or removed at a certain time. Common causes are implant migration, capsule formation, and implant rupture.
Causes of BIA-ALCL are bacteria in the lymphoma and around the implant in the treated breast, which creates an inflammatory process. For individual women, genetic factors may be of importance. Smooth implants have a 0% risk of developing BIA-ALCL.
Bacterial infections as complications of implant insertion have been shown to lead to BIA-ALCL. There is an elaborate 14 step plan to reduce the risk of bacteria attaching to the implant during surgery. These steps have also shown reduced risk of capsule formation.
Contact your doctor if you suspect BIA-ALCL or want to know more.
We at Oslo Plastic Surgery are concerned about your safety and do everything possible to minimize complication risks.