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Update on monitoring the association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL)

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On December 20, the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) released new information for consumers on its monitoring of the association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Please see the link below for the Administration’s “Q&A” on the situation.

https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/breast-implants#consumers

Please note that in Dr Hodgkinson’s more than 30 years of practice he has never seen case of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) associated with breast implants. There is, however, a higher risk with textured implants. We almost exclusively use smooth walled implants and prefer saline filled implants for patients when appropriate.

Dr Hodgkinson always recommends that patients see their surgeon annually post-operatively for review.

The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery has released a statement from which the key messages are quoted below:

http://www.accs.org.au/images/docs/media/ACCS-Statement-Breast-Implant-Associated-Anaplastic-Large-Cell-Lymphoma.pdf

Key messages:

• The risk of a type of lymphatic cancer called ALCL is increased by breast implants.

• The known risk is less than 1 in 1000 patients.

• ALCL is not breast cancer.

• The overwhelming majority of women with breast implants will never get ALCL.

• Women who do get ALCL are usually cured by the removal of their implants the surrounding membrane.

• Women with no symptoms do not need to do anything.

• If you develop an obvious swelling of your implanted breast it is unlikely you have ALCL but you should see your doctor and get an ultrasound scan.

• Surgeons should inform patients considering breast augmentation of the risk of ALCL.