Breast Implant Associated Disease

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Breast implant self examinationMany people have been contacting my rooms to obtain more information about the association of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) and silicone breast implants.

The ALCL is a relatively rare occurrence and the incidence vary in different populations and with different types of implants used. In the vast majority of cases, the disease is localised to the capsule around the implant and is curable.

It is more commonly associated with polyurethane coated and macro textured breast implants. The cause is not yet known and the most accepted theory suggests a link between larger implant surface (texture) and biofilm (contamination) leading to chronic inflammation.

At the moment there is no recommendation to remove implants, nor to proceed with routine radiologic screening. It is important to:
– perform breast self examination
– have routine follow-up appointments with your surgeon, every 12 or 24 months.

What are the most common signs of ALCL?
– Persistent swelling and pain
– Breast shape changes
– New findings on palpation (hardness, fluid pocket, lumps, etc)

Your Plastic Surgeon will perform an assessment and examination, as well as request further investigations if required (Ultrasound or MRI). If fluid is present around the implant, it can be aspirated and sent off for a specific pathology panel for diagnosis.

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