Update on BIA-ALCL in Relation to Allergan Textured Breast Implants

 

A reminder to those who have had breast surgery with implants – either reconstructive or aesthetic – please maintain regular, yearly surgical follow-up appointments. Our office provides complimentary follow-up visits for our patients as a thank you for your commitment to your surgical plan. For the convenience of our out-of-town patients, you can now set up confidential and HIPAA-compliant virtual appointments. If we have not yet had the opportunity to see you, please call our office to schedule your next follow-up visit.

 

On July 24, 2019, the implant device company Allergan issued a recall on BioCell textured implants and tissue expanders. This recall restricts the future availability of styles utilizing BioCell texturizing. It also addresses concerns associated with a very rare type of cancer called BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma).  Allergan has established the site www.BIOCELLinformation.com for consumer questions in relation to this recall.

So what does this mean for you? Currently, given how rare BIA-ALCL is, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend removing textured implants for prevention only. Instead, it is important to follow-up regularly with your plastic surgeon: either with Dr. Chong, or another board-certified plastic surgeon. If you need help finding a board-certified plastic surgeon near you, please visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website at https://find.plasticsurgery.org

What should you be on the lookout for? Signs and symptoms of BIA-ALCL include swelling, pain, asymmetry, or lumps or masses. Though gradual changes in breast shape do occur with time and gravity, any changes that seem abnormal, sudden, or strange should prompt a call to your surgeon’s office so you can be scheduled for a check-up. The vast majority of the time, these findings do not represent anything serious; however, it is always smart to be vigilant and follow-up. 

It is important to stress that ALCL is extremely rare, even if someone had reconstruction or augmentation with textured implants or tissue expanders. Fortunately, if caught at the first sign of swelling, BIA-ALCL is curable by removing the implant and the connective tissue capsule that forms around the implant.   

Please note, your health and safety are and always have been the most important thing to me, as your plastic surgeon. We welcome your calls to the office at any time with questions or concerns. If you currently have a silicone breast implant, textured or smooth, please ensure you have a regular follow-up visit scheduled.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Lavinia K. Chong

 

Links to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/allergan-voluntarily-recalls-biocellr-textured-breast-implants-and-tissue-expanders

https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/questions-and-answers-about-breast-implant-associated-anaplastic-large-cell-lymphoma-bia-alcl