On the 20th December 2016, the Australian government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) issued a statement concerning their ongoing monitoring of the association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
The facts in summary:
- Breast implant-associated ALCL is a rare type of lymphoma that develops near breast implants.
- Dr Matthew Peters and Dr Raymond Goh support a 14‐point safety plan, developed by Australian plastic surgeons, that outlines strategies to minimise bacterial contamination at the time of implant insertion. The register of those who have committed to this plan, including Dr Peters and Dr Goh is here.
- ALCL is not breast cancer and is highly treatable with most cases cured by removal of the implant and the capsule surrounding the implant.
- To date there have been 46 cases identified in Australia and three deaths. The time lag between the time of implant to presentation of BIA‐ALCL is anywhere between 3 and 14 years.
- It’s important to emphasise that the risk still remains very low, so unless there are associated symptoms such as a sudden swelling of the breast or a lump, women do not need to have implants removed. However, we recommend women get their implants checked regularly.
Our surgeons encourage you to contact the practice if you have any concerns what-so-ever and as with any procedure, we are always more than supportive in listening to your concerns and answering any questions you may have. The disease is still categorised as ‘rare’ and the TGA does not recommend implant removal as a preventative measure, but advises women to monitor their breasts for any changes and consult their surgeon if they have concerns.
Australian specialist plastic surgeons have been at the forefront of research into this lymphoma and are working closely with the TGA to share information, including recent research identifying an increased risk of the disease.
TGA’s expert advisory panel included representation from plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons, breast-cancer surgeons, cancer epidemiologists, data analysts and public-health practitioners. The panel’s advice is outlined in the ‘Information for consumers’ link below.
If you would like further information:
Both Dr Peters and Dr Goh are fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and members of both the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) and Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
- The ASPS have released a statement reinforcing the rare nature of ALCL and the commitment amongst their members to reducing infection risk by committing as our surgeons have, to the 14 point plan. See the ASAPS/ASPS statement here.
- The TGA Have issued the following general statement here:
- TGA’s information for consumers can be found here: