The facts on breast implant illness
Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare disease that can be associated in women with breast implants. It is connected with textured or polyurethane breast implants.
Please understand the risk of any lymphoma in an Australian woman living to the age of 85 is 1:50. Of the estimated 35 million women around the world with textured or polyurethane breast implants, there were 688 confirmed cases worldwide by end of March 2019. Of these, there were 78 confirmed reports to the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia.
The most accurate data at present suggests that risk of this lymphoma was varied between 1:2,800 to 1:86,000 depending upon the type of textured surface.
There have been no known implications regarding smooth breast implants and the disease.
what to look out for regarding breast implant illness
BIA-ALCL usually presents with delayed swelling of the affected breast or less frequently with a lump (or both) for no apparent reason from generally three to 14 years after the original implant surgery (average over seven years). However, most delayed breast swelling after breast implants are not going to be BIA-ALCL.
As with all cancers there are those who present in an early stage and those who present with more advanced disease. The disease has an indolent/slow course with most women diagnosed and treated in an early stage (>85%) with symptoms for eight months on average.
Breast implant ilness success rates
All patients with early stages of BIA-ALCL who receive appropriate treatment are, cured with surgery alone. This is without the need for chemotherapy, radiotherapy and with no recurrence when performed properly. Patients who present with more advanced stage disease (<15%) have had symptoms on average for 22 months (almost two years) before definitive treatment. Please note, it is important to identify symptoms early on. If symptoms are not investigated and left untreated the likelihood of more advanced disease increases as with other cancers.
Therapeutic Goods Administration Review on Breast Implants
“In July 2019, the TGA completed its initial review and laboratory assessment of textured breast implants. They have advised Australian suppliers they may suspend all textured implants (including the microtextured Mentor implants we use) and breast reconstruction devices whilst the review continues.”
It is important to note this is just a proposed suspension and the TGA is expected to reach a final decision in late July. However, information is being made available now as people with implants, and those considering implants, have the right to make informed choices about their healthcare.
There is currently no need to have your textured implants removed if there are no presenting problems or symptoms.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Mark Hanikeri uses implants and tissue expanders from the world’s leading implant manufacturers. This is primarily Mentor, which is owned by Johnson and Johnson.
You can read more about the breast implants Dr Mark Hanikeri uses here.
We do not use the macrotextured Silimed or Allergan implants that have been featured in the media as being of higher risk and have been subject to bans overseas. A small number of these implants were chosen for selected patients prior to 2016. If you are concerned, please contact us and we can confirm your implant type.
If you have any further questions please call our Subiaco clinic on Ph: 08 9380 0311