By Constance M. Chen, MD, October 2019
Textured breast implants made by Allergan, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of breast implants, were recently recalled worldwide. The recall was due to a concern about breast implantassociated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a rare cancer of the immune system that can form as a reaction to breast implants. The most recent studies published by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center estimate the incidence of BIA-ALCL as 1 in 443 women with textured breast implants. There have been 573 cases of BIA-ALCL identified worldwide, resulting in 33 deaths. Of the known cases of BIA-ALCL 95% have been associated with implants that have a rough or textured surface. While the FDA does not currently recommend removal or replacement of textured breast implants or tissue expanders in asymptomatic patients, many women do not want to wait until they have symptoms to remove their implants.
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