Dr. Patti Flint

FDA Announcement About Breast Implants

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they have identified cases of a rare form of lymphoma in some women with breast implants. It is called anaplastic large cell lymphoma or ALCL. I understand that this may cause concern for those of you who have undergone breast augmentation. I want to provide accurate information to reassure you.

Only 34 cases have been identified while five-to-ten million breast implants have been implanted worldwide. This is a VERY rare condition. It is obvious when it develops, in that you notice significant swelling and acute discomfort in the breast. It occurs on average eight years following the procedure, with the earliest reported case being one year post-operatively and the longest presentation being at 24 years post-operatively. If you develop these symptoms, you should obtain a mammogram and/or MRI.

There has not been a single fatality FROM ALCL. In fact, unlike ALCL in patients without breast implants, the cure does not include any form of treatment other than removing the implant and the surrounding capsule. ALCL is not a form of breast cancer. Most of the cases occurred around textured implants, which I have never used in my practice for cosmetic breast enhancement in Scottsdale.

The American Society of Plastic Surgery is working closely with the FDA and a team of pathologists and epidemiologists to evaluate all existing cases and provide new information as it develops. I will update my blog as additional information becomes available. Please realize, if you have breast implants, the chances that you will develop this problem appear to be less than one in a half million. If you have you have questions, do not hesitate to contact my office.

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