BIA-ALCL and Implants

breast-sugery-risks-breast-augmentation-

In Australia, there have been some rare cases of BIA-ALCL in recent news stories. The condition of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is still being investigated through scientific research and medical device monitoring.

Data suggests that early diagnosis of BIA-ALCL and targeted medical treatments can be effective in treating this condition.

Implant Sensitivity, BIA-ALCL and Breast Implants

Brief synopsis of what is currently recognised about BIA-ALCL ( Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma):

Does the TYPE of breast implant matter in BIA-ALCL?

  • BIA-ALCL does NOT appear linked with ALL types of breast implants
  • Risk factors MAY be linked with IMPLANT TEXTURE (regardless of content fill being saline or silicone)
  • IMPLANT HANDLING or contamination (bacteria) and traumatic impact to chest are also being investigated
  • Genes, regional variances and other factors are also being explored
  • Most DATA is NOT YET scientifically validated because studies are small and the risk rate is currently considered to be RARE

Hence MORE RESEARCH is recommended to better assess which risk factors may be involved in the formation of BIA-ALCL as well as disease dynamics and treatment protocols.


NOTE: BIA ALCL is not the same as breast cancer.

  • Implant sensitivity may also occur for some women, which may lead some women to choose to remove their implants.

Breast Implant Monitoring Recommendations by Medical Boards, ASAPS and ASPS

Current medical recommendations for women with breast implants in relation to BIA-ALCL:

  • STAY observant to any signs, changes or symptoms that might indicate an issue with your breast implant results
  • Get ANNUAL check ups with your SURGEON
    • arrange earlier or more frequent check-ups and surgery reviews if you have any concerns
    • be sure you let your Surgeon know of any concerns or questions
  • NOTIFY your Surgeon immediately if:
    • you notice ANY changes to your breast surgery results
    • you have any swelling or pain in the breast area
    • you observe lumps or bumps in the chest area or lymphatic regions (armpits)

Did you have breast augmentation at our clinic? Is it time for your annual review?

Patients of our Surgeons are encouraged to PHONE US on 0388491400 at any time IF you have any questions or concerns about your existing implants OR to contact us if you:

  • want to schedule your re-examination or annual surgery review 
  • need your address, phone contact details and email records updated
  • would like to discuss having their breast implants removed or replaced with newer implants

Existing Patients: Please contact FRAN if you have any questions on 03 8849 1400.


What if you had your breast implants inserted somewhere else?

For a new patient surgery consultation for breast implant removal, implant surgery revision or breast implant remove-and-replace procedures, implant size changes or other breast surgery, phone the Enquiries Care Team today on (03) 8849 1444.


Further reading on BIA-ALCL and Breast Implant Monitoring

Search browsers for the latest scientifically validated data and check the education, study design and source of information.  Additional resource links are listed below:

TGA Information (2018)

Breast Implant Monitoring: Recommendations from the Australian Plastic Surgery Association (ASPS)

FDA Media Release


Summary of BIA-ALCL in recent news:

Research continues to investigate:

  • potential occurrence rates
  • possible risk factors including:
    • certain textured breast implants – e.g., surface texture rather than FILL content
    • bacteria contamination to implants AND/OR
    • trauma to the chest region
    • regional variances and genetic predispositions

Is BIA-ALCL curable?

  • BIA-ALCL does appear to be effectively treatable when diagnosed early
  • There may be variants of ALCL and patient risks and outcomes can vary
  • The average onset time frame is about 7 to 8 years after augmentation
  • Certain blood markers for testing AND targeted BIA-ALCL treatments are undergoing further efficacy review and clinical assessments
  • Read more about the treatment of BIA-ALCL

Patients are recommended to remain diligent in monitoring their implant results AND attend all yearly or scheduled checkups with their original plastic surgeon.

You might want to:

  • stay informed about new research and ALCL risk rate data
  • evaluate the source and statistics of any related news articles
  • monitor your surgery results and health and attend all check-ups
  • contact us with any questions, concerns or requests for implant exchanges or removal

Want your implants removed or changed out with more modern implants such as MENTOR or MOTIVA?


Article Sources and Further Reading

ASPS recommendation for women with Breast Implants who are worried about BIA-ALCL (2018 – updated and accessed online in 27 November 2018)

BIA-ALCL-ASPS-Media-Release-120828-BIA-ALCL (August 2017) Last accessed online on 17 November 2017.

Women with breast implants urged not to be alarmed by inaccurate reports on cancer link (ASPS 2016) 

ASPS/ASAPS Update (USA – American Society of Plastic Surgeons and American Society Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons – joint statement- https://www.surgery.org/downloads/blasts/BIA-ALCL/


References – Medical and Scientific Journals about BIA-ALCL


 2018 Dec;142(6):933e-946e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005050.

Modern Primary Breast Augmentation: Best Recommendations for Best Results.

Accessed on January 09, 2019.


 2018 Sep 11. doi: 10.1038/s41379-018-0134-3. [Epub ahead of print]

 2017 May 5. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003654. [Epub ahead of print]

Breast implant associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma in Australia and New Zealand – high surface area textured implants are associated with increased risk.

Authors: Loch-Wilkinson A1Beath KKnight RJWWessels WLFMagnusson MPapadopoulos TConnell TLofts JLocke MHopper ICooter RVickery KJoshi PAPrince HMDeva AK.

Last accessed online on January 9, 2019.


Recent ASPS or ASAPS Statements about ALCL

ASPS recommendation for women with Breast Implants who are worried about BIA-ALCL (2018 – updated and accessed online in 27 November 2018)

ASAPS May 2018 Update on Breast Implants and Cancer – Separating Facts from Fiction

TGA Therapeutic Goods Administration update and review on safety of breast implants

See other releases from American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Breast augmentation or implant safety monitoring and recommendations

“This [risk range] is consistent with recent ASPS updates to membership, and the FDA update calls for NO changes in recommendations regarding breast implants.” Source: ASPS website on Plastic Surgery News and Research, accessed 26 March 2018.

Other references or information sources for this article include: Dr Montcrief

https://www.plasticsurgery.org/for-medical-professionals/health-policy/bia-alcl-physician-resources/fda-updates-website-information-on-bia-alcl

 2018 Sep 11. doi: 10.1038/s41379-018-0134-3. [Epub ahead of print]
Page last updated 09 January 2019.
Last updated: 29/03/2019
Author profile image
Dr Geoff Barnett
Dr Geoffrey Barnett, FRACS (Plas) is a Melbourne based Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has over 35 years of expertise in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Body Contouring Surgery after Bariatric Surgery.Qualifications and Memberships: Specialist Plastic Surgeon (FRACS) Member - Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [FRACS (Plast).The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the only professional body recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) to train Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand.Author BIO page: https://plasticsurgeons.com.au/dr-geoff-barnett/