American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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BIA-ALCL Physician Resources

Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is an uncommon and highly treatable type of lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. BIA-ALCL occurs most frequently in patients who have breast implants with textured surfaces.

As of July 2019, literature reports various estimates for the incidence of BIA-ALCL. These estimated incidence rates range from a high of 1 per 3, 817 patients to 1 in 30,000. (Clemens et al., 2017, Loch-Wilkinson et al., 2017, De Boer et al., 2018) Importantly, BIA-ALCL has been identified in patients with all types of textured implants and both breast cancer reconstruction and cosmetic patients. To date, there are not any confirmed BIA-ALCL cases that involve only a smooth implant, but the medical records of many women diagnosed with BIA-ALCL did not specify whether their implants were textured. Currently, it is not possible to test for who is at risk of this disease.

As of May 1, 2024, ASPS now recognizes approximately:

434 Suspected or Confirmed Cases of BIA-ALCL in the United States 1,566 Cases of BIA-ALCL Worldwide

Most of the patients who have developed BIA-ALCL receive an excellent prognosis following surgical removal of the breast implants and the surrounding scar tissue capsule. Continued follow-up after any breast implant surgery is suggested and important for patient health, but patients who notice pain, lumps, swelling, fluid collections or unexpected changes in breast shape, including asymmetry, should contact their plastic surgeon. In most cases, women diagnosed with BIA-ALCL observed changes in the look or feel of the area surrounding the implant greater than one year after their initial surgical sites were fully healed, and on average, eight to ten years after receiving textured implants.

Patients undergoing plastic surgery procedures, aesthetic or reconstructive, should be thoroughly informed of the potential risks and possible complications known to be associated with the procedure, and any device used in that procedure. In the cases where a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL is made, surgical treatment is essential for the management of the disease. Some patients with more advanced disease may require further treatment such as chemotherapy.

FDA Information on BIA-ALCL

Last updated on November 1, 2023.