UPDATE : Thursday, August 13, 2020
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Rare cancer reported in Korea regarding Allergan’s breast implant
  • By Lee Hye-seon
  • Published 2019.08.16 14:54
  • Updated 2019.08.16 14:54
  • comments 0

The health authorities said here they have received the first report of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in a local patient who had Allergan’s specific type of textured implant.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (KSPRS) said Friday they had the first report of BIA-ALCL.

The patient was a female in her 40s who received breast augmentation surgery seven or eight years ago.

She had severe swelling in one breast recently and visited a plastic surgery clinic. The doctor suspected BIA-ALCL and immediately transferred her to a university hospital. After a multidisciplinary examination, she was finally diagnosed with BIA-ALCL on Tuesday.

The ministry and KSPRS learned the case of the adverse event on Wednesday and held a meeting with experts to confirm the first case of BIA-ALCL.

“With the importer and manufacturer of the implant, we are discussing measures, including the compensation for the cost of side effect-induced treatment. We will investigate the side effects of breast implants and register patients for a study to ensure safety,” the ministry said.

Different from breast cancer, BIA-ALCL is a rare cancer associated with the immune system. Suspicious symptoms include a change in breast size caused by seroma, a pocket of serous fluid, or a lump or rash on the skin.

KSPRS said that patients with any suspicious symptoms such as a sudden change in breast size, a lump, or skin rash must visit a medical institution.

Considering the low incidence of BIA-ALCL and risks of anesthesia, postoperative hematoma, inflammation and infection after surgery, physicians in the U.S. and Europe do not recommend removing the breast implant in patients with no symptom who wish to prevent BIA-ALCL.

“BIA-ALCL is very rare and can be cured without chemotherapy or radiation if the doctor removes the implant and coatings early after the onset,” KSPRS said.

The ministry and KSPRS said they would take active measures to minimize the difficulties of patients who received breast implants and to set up a system of prompt reports and medical consultations to ensure their safety.


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