Facts about ALCL

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released some information about a possible connection between breast augmentation and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). There’s a lot of info and opinions circulating on the Web (there always are!) and I wanted to separate some of the facts from fictions so that our patients and women considering breast augmentation can take comfort knowing what this is all about.

  • Fact:

    ALCL is a rare disease of the immune system that can occur anywhere in the body.

  • Fact:

    Between 5 to 10 million women worldwide have had breast augmentation, and only 34 cases of ALCL have been identified in breast augmentation patients since 1989. To put it in perspective, a breast augmentation patient is MUCH more likely to be struck by lightning in a given year than be diagnosed with ALCL.

  • Fact:

    The FDA stands by its approval of breast implants when used as labeled.

  • Fact:

    Breast implants are some of the most studied medical devices ever created, and the FDA continues to monitor the safety of breast implants.

  • Fact:

    The FDA, along with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), remains committed to the health and safety of women who have chosen breast augmentation.

I’d also add that we at Davis Plastic Surgery are keeping a close eye on this FDA communication…and we will do whatever it takes to keep our patients informed, now and in the future. I’m encouraged to see the FDA standing behind its prior approval of saline and silicone gel breast implants and believe that our patients should continue to have peace of mind about the safety of their implants.


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