BIA-ALCL; A Patient’s Story

As awareness of breast implant complications rises, so do concerns about the safety of breast augmentations. While some complications range from swelling and minor numbness post-operatively, others are more serious, such as BIA-ALCL.

Plastic Surgical Associates got to witness one of the rarer ones, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), first hand. A patient came in when her original surgeon dismissed her concerns. Although BIA-ALCL is rare (estimated rate of incidence varies from one in a million to 1 in 2,832*), Dr. Duncan felt that something was off and reached out again following the initial assessments.

Here is the patient’s side:

“Dr. Duncan’s diagnosis of BIA-ALCL in my right breast was missed by my original plastic surgeon. I had [severe] swelling in one side that came and went over the course of a few weeks. I brushed it off, attributing it to lifting a heavy weight, or a post breastfeeding change. I had minimal pain and never thought it couldn’t have been something so serious. After meeting with Dr. Duncan about downsizing my implants, I received a notice from her office explaining her concern that I could have BIA-ALCL. She wanted me to take precautionary measures whether I used her as a surgeon or not.

She absolutely saved my life.

Not only is this women a genius and an incredible plastic surgeon but she is extremely tasteful and truly cares about her patients. She is so up to date with her practice that she diagnosed something many doctors haven’t even heard of at the time.

I had two surgeries to fully removed my textured implants and the cancerous capsule. I was prepared for my breasts to be completely destroyed since I went from over a DD cup to a small B. Dr. Duncan made me look great, and more importantly, I am healthy! Dr. Duncan is amazing and so is the entire staff!”

We are so grateful to be able to assist patients with difficult turning points in their lives, and this was one of those cases. Finding a surgeon who stays up to date on advances and events in the field, as well as assessing those changes from an academically rigorous viewpoint, is incredibly important! For more about Dr. Diane Duncan check out some information here.

*Note: these rates of incidence are for patients with textured implants. Textured implants with more surface area (i.e. larger implants) seem to show a higher chance of BIA-ALCL within the current RESEARCH.