Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) Associated with Breast Implants explained, Morristown N.J.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with breast implants is not a completely understood entity. It is not clear if this is a lymphoproliferative disorder or a true cancer. It occurs extremely rarely in patients with breast implants and is confined to the capsule, the tissue that surrounds the implant. Clinically it appears as swelling of the affected breast, which is caused by a liquid accumulation in the breast implant pocket called a seroma. Aspiration of this liquid and cytologic examination confirms the diagnosis of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). The treatment is, removal of the implant and the capsule and is curative. The capsule is a layer that the body forms around the implant. The implants involved are mostly textured, but ALCL has been reported even more rarely in association with smooth surface implants. There are different types of textured surfaces depending on the brand of implants used and we don’t know which type of textured structure is more likely associated with this condition. I have not yet seen a patient with this condition in my practice in Morristown NJ as of today’s date. This is probably because I never use textured implants for breast augmentation. However I do use them in breast reconstruction because of the need for a form stable, shaped implant in those cases. These implant have a teardrop shape and have to be textured in order to adhere to the tissues. This tissue adherence prevents the rotation of the implants. To learn about the types of breast implants used today see our  breast augmentation page.


If you have had a breast augmentation or a breast reconstruction with implants, there is no reason to panic or worry. ALCL is an extremely rare condition with only a few hundred cases reported. This is out of several millions breast implants performed. You just need to make sure you get examined by your plastic surgeon, especially if you notice an unusual size increase or swelling in one breast.

If you have any additional questions regarding breast implants please do not hesitate to call our office at 973 2670928.