Supporting Women’s BIA-ALCL Decision-making: Role of the Individual Consult in Empowering the Patient–Physician TeamJade O. Park, Carmen E. Webb, Claire F. Temple-Oberle
- General Medicine
Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and an uncommon risk of textured breast implants. Over the past decade, concern about BIA-ALCL has been increasing among both patients and surgeons. Patients are seeking a better understanding of their BIA-ALCL risk toward identifying a personalized care plan. This quality improvement project examines the value added by pairing group-based patient education seminars with one-on-one consults.
Individual consults were held following educational group seminars. Consult field notes underwent qualitative thematic analysis. Themes were cross referenced against a quantitative chart review of patient BIA-ALCL prophylaxis decisions over time.
Four key themes were identified: weighing, perceiving, guiding, and supporting.
Key lessons include the following: (1) patients weigh BIA-ALCL risk against perceived surgical risks and the value of their reconstruction; (2) patients can benefit from a personalized balance of autonomy and surgeon guidance when selecting a BIA-ALCL prevention plan; (3) surgeons should seek to understand the psychosocial factors that may underlie patient perceptions of BIA-ALCL risk; and (4) individual consults can be therapeutic and help strengthen the patient–surgeon relationship.