Level 4, 18 North Tce, Adelaide SA

You may have seen recent media reports regarding Breast Implanted Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Please be assured that the safety of our patients is our number one priority at Adelaide Plastic Surgery. Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are all Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

We are pleased to provide the following update for your information. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding this topic, it is best to discuss these with your surgeon. We welcome you to call (08) 8213 1800 and speak with your surgeon’s personal assistant, who would be happy to arrange an appointment for you.

What is BIA-ALCL?
Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ACL) is a rare form of lymphoma associated with the fluid or tissue around breast implants. It is important to note that ALCL is not a breast cancer.

What causes BIA -ALCL?
BIA-ALCL is thought to develop in genetically susceptible patients and biofilm on textured breast implants. It is thought that the more textured the implant, the higher the risk of developing ALCL.

Outcome of the recent TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) review of implants

The recent investigation into textured breast implants has led to the TGA suspension of “macro-textured” (grade 3 and 4), and some “micro-textured” implant devices. These implants are associated with higher incidences of BIA-ALCL. The suspension applies to all un-implanted devices, meaning they will not be supplied or used in any new patient procedures. A list of the suspended implants can be found here. 

If you currently have any of the suspended implants, the TGA suggests educating yourself on BIA-ALCL and to seek advice if you note any changes to your breasts. There is no evidence to suggest asymptomatic patients have their breast implants removed or replaced.

“If your breast implants are being cancelled, suspended or recalled, medical experts do not recommend removing them if you do not have symptoms of BIA-ALCL. This is because BIA-ALCL is very rare, and the risk of undergoing surgery could be higher than the risk of developing BIA-ALCL.”

A set of conditions have been imposed by the TGA on the remaining micro-textured implants in Australia. These new requirements aim to provide the highest level of patient safety possible.

Micro-textured implants and tissue expanders are used for a number of clinical reasons, and, in some instances, are the preferred choice by Specialist Plastic Surgeons in terms of look, feel and possible complications.

More information can be found on the websites of the TGA and the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Recommended links for further information

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/breast-implants-and-anaplastic-large-cell-lymphoma

Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
https://plasticsurgery.org.au/protecting-patient-safety/breast-implant-information-updates/