Article Abstract

Understanding rare adverse sequelae of breast implants: anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, late seromas, and double capsules

Authors: Mark W. Clemens, Maurizio Bruno Nava, Nicola Rocco, Roberto N. Miranda


Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BI-ALCL) is a distinct type of T-cell lymphoma arising around breast implants. The United States FDA recently updated the 2011 safety communication, warning that women with breast implants may have a very low risk of developing ALCL adjacent to a breast implant. According to the World Health Organization, BI-LCL is not a breast cancer or cancer of the breast tissue; it is a lymphoma, a cancer of immune cells. BI-ALCL is highly curable in the majority of patients. Informed consent should include the risk of BI-ALCL with breast implant patients. Women with breast implants are encouraged to contact their plastic surgeon if they notice swelling, fluid collections, or unexpected changes in breast shape. Physicians are encouraged to send suspicious peri-prosthetic fluid for CD30 immunohistochemistry, cell block cytology, and culture in symptomatic patients. An observation from reported cases indicates a predominance of textured device involvement. More information is needed to fully understand risk factors and etiology. The association of bacteria and biofilm with ALCL is currently being investigated and one theory is that biofilm may play a role in this disease process stressing the importance of best practice techniques intraoperatively. Recent studies have reported clinical presentation, prognosis, and treatment outcomes with long term followup demonstrating the critical role for surgical management.