Breast Implant Swelling or Pain? – Watch for BIA-ALCL


Breast Implant Swelling or Pain Alert & BIA-ALCL

Watch for Sudden Breast Implant Swelling or Pain  – It could be BIA-ALCL – Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends women with breast implants monitor for any changes or swelling in their breasts and if it occurs to contact their surgeon. Especially sudden breast swelling – 4 to 10+ years after breast implants. Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare cancer that can be effectively treated if detected early. There is a lot of confusion in the community surrounding BIA-ALCL therefore we seek to clarify the known facts.

Facts associated with BIA-ALCL

  • It is NOT breast cancer – It is a cancer of lymphatic cells and a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • It occurs in association with breast implants and to date exclusively with exposure to textured implants (ie. no case has been reported with exposure to smooth implants alone)
  • It occurs in women who have had implants for both cosmetic and reconstructive indications
  • It takes an average of 7-10 years after implant insertion before it develops
  • The commonest presentation is a fluid swelling around the breast implant and in the space between the implant and breast implant capsule. The diagnosis of the tumour is made by examination of the fluid
  • Early stage disease is curative with surgery alone
  • Disease which has spread through the capsule, forming a mass, or which has spread to local lymph glands carries a worse prognosis

Risks of textured Implants – BIA ALCL

A detailed study in Australia and New Zealand showed that the risk for implants with a higher surface area texture ( known as Textured implants) was around 10 times higher.

Dr Carmen is following advice to use premium SMOOTH implants like the Motiva Brand instead of heavily textured implants.

BIA-ALCL implants

Dr Carmen’s BIA ALCL Implant Recommendations about Breast Implant Swelling

All patients undergoing breast implant surgery must be provided with informed consent that includes a discussion of risks of BIA-ALCL.

Implant selection should take into account what the patient already has, what the goals are, the patient’s lifestyle and the risks relative to various implant options.

Implant-specific risk should be discussed in the context of the overall benefits of a particular implant type and/or texture.

Routine implant removal is not indicated for asymptomatic women with breast implants including textured implants.

Any patient with implants who notices a change in their breasts should seek advice. The overwhelming majority will NOT have BIA-ALCL.

 Further Reading – Medical References


Dr Carmen Munteanu Top Plastic Surgeon Best Body Surgeon Melbourne

About Dr Carmen Munteanu – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Carmen has 25 years of expertise in breast & tummy surgery as well as excess skin removal for weight-loss patients. Her favourite surgery is Breast Reduction. She also has significant experience in using fat transfer & fat grafting processes to the breast for augmentation and enhancement.

Dr Carmen is a FRACS Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon – she is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

She is a precise surgeon and customises her surgery procedures and placement of surgical incision lines for each patient to get the best outcomes.

Caring and engaging, Dr Carmen is highly regarded by her peers and patients.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Carmen?

  •  A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Carmen – Carparking is available on site in Mitcham
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

Contact us or call on  1300 652 468  to arrange your consultation

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