What is ALCL?
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare cancer that occurs in somewhere between 1 in 3000 and 1 in 30,000 women with textured breast implants (saline or silicone gel). To our knowledge, ALCL has not been reported in women with smooth implants.
How many cases are there?
Five hundred seventy cases have been reported worldwide. In the U.S. alone, 400,000 women a year have breast implants placed. There are over 10 million women in the world with breast implants, making breast implant-associated ALCL a rare disease.
What are the symptoms of ALCL?
ALCL usually presents as a breast mass or a fluid collection around an implant. If you have an unexplained breast mass or notice that one of your breasts has become significantly larger than the other, you should be evaluated by your PCP or Dr. Friedman.
Why did Allergan stop selling textured implants?
Allergan, the largest manufacturer of breast implants in the world, voluntarily discontinued the sale of textured implants on July 24, 2019, due to the risk of ALCL.
When does Dr. Friedman use textured implants?
Up to now, Dr. Friedman has used smooth implants in 97% of his augmentation patients. He only used textured implants (3% of patients) in patients with poor soft tissue support, which would cause smooth implants (which have a slippery surface) to drop excessively. Textured implants “stick” to the tissues like Velcro, helping to prevent “bottoming out” of the implants.
If I have textured implants, should I have them removed?
The FDA does NOT recommend routine removal of textured implants.
If I have textured implants, can I have them removed?
If you are worried about having textured implants, they can be removed with a breast implant revision. If you like, they can be replaced with smooth implants. Remember that your body forms a capsule of scar tissue around all implants within a year of surgery. If you had poor soft tissue support at the time of surgery, the capsule will provide long term support for smooth implants. Remember that any such procedure will have associated expenses.
Will Allergan, the implant manufacturer, help me with the cost of surgery?
If you choose to have your textured implants replaced with smooth implants, Allergan will provide the smooth implants at no cost to you. However, you will be responsible for all other surgical costs.