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There has been some recent media coverage of a condition (with a long medical word) related to breast implants and I would like to reassure all my current and future patients.

Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that is said to be related to the use of textured breast implants. Although it is rare, it is something I discuss with every patient considering breast implantation. The link between implants and ALCL has only been discovered in recent times and as such extensive research is being carried out to determine the cause and how to prevent it.

The theory is that a low-grade infection is introduced at the time of breast implantation, setting up inflammation around the implant, which over several years develops into ALCL. ALCL usually presents as an enlarged breast (due to fluid around the implant) 7-10 years after the surgery. When recognized and treated early, the disease is curable!

It is important to know there is an estimated 30 million women in the world with breast implants. To date there are about 400 patients diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, so the numbers are tiny. However, it is an emotive subject and needs to be addressed so every woman feels safe with her choices.

I commenced practice more than 26 years ago and have been using textured implants for more than 20 years. To date, I am unaware of any of my patients having developed ALCL and my plan is for it to continue this way.

Whilst I will continue to use textured implants (because of the decreased risk of capsular contracture), I do 3 things to minimise risk:

  1. I use the micro-textured Mentor implants that have a low risk of developing ALCL (estimated at 1:60,000).

  2. I follow every point of the ’14-point plan’ recommended for Plastic Surgeons. This includes using the Keller Funnel to insert the implant without touching it and no drains.

  3. I follow my patients up regularly and will see them every year for life, to make sure both they and I are happy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please either call me directly on 0488 178 080 or make a time to see me by speaking with Jacqui on 1300 087 007.

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