Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

Breast implants have been studied for more than two decades and very rarely produce side effects. However, the ASAPS and ASERF emphasize the importance of breast cancer screenings including self-exam, a regular physical exam, mammography, ultrasound and/or MRIs for breast implant patients. Past and current breast augmentation patients should also be aware of an uncommon condition called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). The condition has only been documented in textured implants.

The best theory is that a combination of three factors is required for the development of BIA- ALCL: a highly textured implant, chronic bacterial-inflammation, and genetic predisposition. The condition appears to purely be related to the surface of the implant and not to what the implant is filled with.

Based on current data, the risk can be explained by the texture grade of the implants. Smooth implants have a current lifetime risk of zero, while textured implants have varying risk. They are as follows:

  • Grade 2 (e.g. Microtexture, Siltex and similar) – 1:82,000
  • Grade 3 (e.g. Macrotexture, Biocell and similar) – 1:3,200
  • Grade 4 (e.g. Polyurethane) – 1:2,800

There have been 16 confirmed deaths globally since the disease was first reported nearly 20 years ago.

Mr. Villasante is presently looking into the viability of lawsuits against manufacturers of these products.