Is There a Connection Between Textured Breast Implants & Lymphoma?

Patient education is one of the most important aspects of my work as a board-certified plastic surgeon. Recently, there was some news about a potential connection between breast implants, specifically textured breast implants, and a rare form of lymphoma in women. This is obviously a very serious and potentially scary subject, so I feel I have a responsibility to my patients to outline any potential breast implant risks and complications associated with such a common cosmetic surgery procedure. In light of the recent news on this topic, I wanted to take a moment to set the record straight on any possible connections between textured breast implants and lymphoma.

Breast Implants LymphomaBack in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that there was a possible connection between textured breast implants and a rare Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). However, a recent statement released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) has helped us strengthen our understanding on the subject. This recent update states that BI-ALCL is a lymphoma, a cancer of immune cells. Data suggests that BI-ALCL occurs following the use of textured breast implants, opposed to implants with smooth surfaces. They concluded that women with breast implants have a very low incidence rate of BI-ALCL, though this subject continues to be studied closely.

It’s important for women with textured breast implants to be diligent with their normal breast cancer precautions and contact their plastic surgeon if they notice anything irregular. This includes scheduling annual screening appointments and performing regular breast self-exams. Contact your doctor if you experience any abnormalities in the breast area including swelling, irregular growths, or changes in breast shape and have this checked out immediately.

I hope you found this information reassuring. It’s important to remember that even the most common complications associated with breast augmentation surgery and breast implants are still very rare. This is especially true for patients who have their surgery performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon like myself and closely follow their surgeon’s post-surgery instructions. For more information on this subject or if you  would like to schedule a plastic surgery consultation, contact me, Allyson B. Maske, at Atlanta Plastic Surgery. And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for additional cosmetic surgery tips, news, and more.