Breast Implant Safety: Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon Discusses BIA-ALCL & Explantation

2020-04-09 20:30:21 - United States, California, Palo Alto - (PR Distribution™)

With the 2019 recall of various textured breast implants, Dr. Lauren Greenberg sheds light on what women should know about BIA-ALCL and explantation.


Palo Alto, CA -- Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested Allergan—a leading manufacturer of breast implants—recall certain textured implant models from the United States market due to their connection to a rare cancer known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). At the time of the request, the FDA reported a total of 573 unique cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide, with 481 specifically attributed to Allergan textured implants.


While the news created a wave of alarm still being felt today, Dr. Lauren Greenberg—a board-certified plastic surgeon in Palo Alto—advises women who have breast implants not to overreact: “First, breathe. The most common implants used in the U.S. are smooth round implants. The ALCL cancer is only seen in textured implants.” She goes on to explain that even in the event a woman has textured implants, current data indicates that the risk of developing BIA-ALCL is 1:3,200, which means it is quite rare.


Despite its rarity, Dr. Greenberg notes that since the possibility of BIA-ALCL does exist, women who have textured breast implants should be aware of typical symptoms and treatment options. In reference to the former, she states: “[ALCL] presents most commonly with a rapid onset of a spontaneous fluid collection (60-90%) or a capsular mass (10-40%). Any seroma occurring more than one year after implantation not readily explainable by infection or trauma should be considered suspicious for disease.” She adds that, on average, the symptoms occur 8–10 years after textured implants are placed.


Should signs of BIA-ALCL manifest, Dr. Greenberg stresses that prompt evaluation by a qualified medical professional is critical, as this particular form of cancer has shown to be highly treatable when detected early in the vast majority of cases. If testing comes back positive for BIA-ALCL, she says treatment usually involves explantation via en bloc capsulectomy, which includes the complete removal of the capsule with the implant contained inside. In addition, any masses or affected lymph nodes potentially found may need to be removed, and chemotherapy could be necessary. 


Ultimately, Dr. Greenberg reiterates that present data links BIA-ALCL solely to textured breast implants, and even for women who received textured implants during breast augmentation or reconstruction, the risk of occurrence is minimal—and treatment is highly successful when caught early.


About Lauren Greenberg, MD

Dr. Greenberg is a board-certified plastic surgeon with 20-plus years of experience. At her practice in Palo Alto, she provides a full array of cosmetic surgical procedures ranging from breast augmentation and mastopexy to abdominoplasty and the comprehensive mommy makeover. In addition, she offers fat transfer to the breasts, body, and face, as well as numerous non-surgical aesthetic treatments for those interested in minimally- and/or non-invasive enhancement. Among many honors and accolades, Dr. Greenberg has received several Patients’ Choice Awards, including being named one of “California’s Favorite Physicians” and “America’s Most Compassionate Doctors.” She has also been featured in the “Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons.”


For more information, please visit and Dr. Greenberg is available for interview upon request.


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Lauren Greenberg, MD

750 Welch Road, Suite 117

Palo Alto, CA 94304

(650) 617-9907


Rosemont Media

(858) 200-0044

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Cassie Fowler
Rosemont Media
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(858) 200-0044
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