The FDA recently alerted physicians of most specialties of the increasing incidence of a certain lymphoma specific for women with textured type breast implants. This lymphoma termed BIA-ALCL (breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma) was originally termed as rare, but seems to be increasing as the duration of these implants increases. Allergan conducted a study on these implants for 6 years prior to them being approved by the FDA. It appears that the study did not identify the rates and amounts of this lymphoma that is being seen in the community today. Also, thousands (close to 70K at the time of this writing and growing by 400 women daily) of women are complaining that these implants are making them sick and are informing each other on facebook as their doctors do not understand their complaints. Some have been very ill with multiple autoimmune processes and are explanting their implants with resolution of their symptoms. Since there is not an identifiable way to test for this illness it is hard to understand and treat. Fortunately, explantation is resolving the symptoms in these women about 80% of the time according to doctors who are performing the explantations. Over 120 social media pages have been created worldwide to discuss what has worked, what hasn’t worked and to discuss how doctors do not acknowledge the illness. Luckily the FDA has sent this important announcement to start improving awareness and helping physicians to be more informed. If you have breast implants and are experiencing unusual symptoms, visit your PCP to discuss any issues that may be contributing. If no answers are found, it may be advantageous to see someone versed in breast implant illness and a surgeon who understands the correct methods to explant. Removal of the capsule is imperative if one is going to avoid ALCL as these cancers have been found in the retained capsule surrounding the implants after removal.
Author: Dr. Jennifer Kessmann
Dr. Jennifer Kessmann is an Integrative and Functional Medicine Physician passionate about finding a solution to your health concerns and bringing you back to optimum health.