Double Board Certified
Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Suzanne Trott Speaks With A Patient Who Had ALCL (Anaplastic large cell lymphoma)

Dr. Suzanne Trott speaks with her patient, Caren, who developed ALCL (Anaplastic large cell lymphoma) from her textured breast implants which were put in by her previous doctor years ago. ALCL has been associated mainly with textured implants. Caren discusses her journey from discovery of a problem to meeting Dr. Trott and having the lymphoma removed.

Transcription

Suzanne Trott: It is extremely rare. It is not a breast cancer. It is a lymphoma, an ALCL lymphoma. Under the microscope, that's what it looks like to the pathologist and that's why they're calling it a lymphoma. However, it doesn't really behave as aggressively as a regular lymphoma. It just needs to be removed like a mole or something that hasn't spread. 

Said to one in 300000, but probably closer to one in a million as there have been only 359 cases documented since 2011 and there were nine deaths, but that was in over a million patients. 

It has been associated with textured implants. Texturing is used to keep the implant in place like this teardrop implant so that it doesn't shift because if it shifts, it's going to be teardrop in the wrong direction. It's not because it's a breast implant. It's because of the texturization process. 

You'd had the implants in for how long?

Caren: I'd had them in for about 10 years, and my last breast exam, they kept sending me back for more and more tests, but yet, they never came to any conclusion. But what happened was is that my left breast became extremely big and I knew something was wrong. 

Suzanne Trott: Didn't look infected. It didn't look red or anything. It just looked like she had, probably had a fluid collection in there. Our plan was just to take the implants out, but when we were in the operating room, the capsular tissue looked a bit unusual to me and something that I had never seen before. 

Caren: Well then we needed to go back in and remove all the implants entirely. The lymphoma had started inside that one area, but then it spread to more tissue but only within my breast. So they removed quite a bit. You removed quite a bit of tissue in my breast. 

I saw an oncologist for a couple of years. They would test me every three months, then every six months, then every year, but that was ... I mean that's obviously what you want because you want to make sure there's nothing happening or growing back. Then I was released after about three years. 

Suzanne Trott: As plastic surgeons in our community, we're not freaking out about this and we understand the progression of this disease and how rare and is and how safe breast implants are. You really don't need to run and get your breast implants out especially if you like how they look.