What You Should Know About Breast Implants and BIA-ALCL.

What is Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)?

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. The lymphoma cells typically form a fluid-filled capsule with scar tissue around the implant. It is a rare condition, with less than 1000 cases diagnosed.

The exact cause of BIA-ALCL is unknown, but it is believed to be related to the type of implant surface. Textured implants, which have a rougher surface, have been associated with a higher risk of developing BIA-ALCL than smooth implants. The implant filling does not seem to impact the development of BIA-ALCL.


Symptoms of BIA-ALCL include:

  • Swelling or pain around the implant
  • Breast asymmetry or evenness
  • Lumps or masses in the breast or armpit
  • Redness or rash around the breast

For some, no symptoms may be present.


Diagnosis of BIA-ALCL is typically made through a biopsy of the affected tissue. The biopsy will be analyzed for the presence of the specific type of lymphoma cells that are seen in this disease.


Treatment for BIA-ALCL typically involves the removal of the implant and the surrounding capsule. In some cases, additional chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be recommended.

It is important to note that BIA-ALCL is not a type of breast cancer and does not increase the risk of breast cancer.



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