What is BIA-ALCL and what should you do if you have concerns?
Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) usually involves a swelling of the breast, typically 3-14 years after surgery to insert breast implants. This swelling is due to an accumulation of fluid. BIA-ALCL can less commonly take the form of a lump in the breast or a lump in the armpit.
It is a very rare condition, with the estimated published risk of BIA-ALCL between 1-in-1,000 and 1-in-10,000. Although fatalities have been recorded, the vast majority of BIA- ALCL are cured by removal of the implant and capsule surrounding the implant.
If you notice any of these problems (swelling or a lump), or you have any concerns surrounding your implants, please seek medical advice and attention. Although it is very un-likely that any problems are linked to ALCL, other complications are more likely and are easily fixed if you consult with your GP or Surgeon.
Because BIA-ALCL is rare, experts do NOT recommend removal of breast implants where there are no problems with the implant.
Information for consumers about BIA-ALCL, its symptoms and treatments is available on the TGA’s breast implant hub. This update was originally posted on the TGA website. The full article on the TGA’s initial views following recent laboratory testing and statistical analysis can be read here.
Because BIA-ALCL is rare, experts do not recommend removal of breast implants where there are no problems with the implant.
BIA-ALCL is more likely to occur in rougher surfaced implants, and the TGA is proposing to either cancel or suspend particular products. There are alternative smooth implants available and these have not been associated with known cases of ALCL in Australia.
Because the risk to women who already have these implants is very low, experts do not recommend that women who have implants already need to have them removed, unless ALCL has been diagnosed. Although the option of removal and/or replacement of breast implants is always an option.
The proposed action by the TGA does not change this advice. If you have concerns please speak to your GP or surgeon. No decision has been made to suspend or cancel the relevant products at this time (9 July 2019).
More Information on BIA ALCL
Breast implant associated cancer Information on diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of BIA-ALCL.
If you have any questions about your implants from Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men please phone 88491444