An estimated 400,000 U.S. women get breast implants every year, for both cosmetic and post-mastectomy reconstruction purposes. In addition to the known risks of infection, rupture, and capsular contracture, evidence is showing that certain types of implants are associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma — also known as BIA-ALCL — a rare type non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Thousands of breast implant recipients have also reported crippling joint pain, cognitive impairment, and unusual fatigue, adverse side effects that are currently being reviewed by FDA researchers.
Grounds for filing a breast implant lawsuit
Showard Law Firm is reviewing product liability claims arising from breast implant illness and related cancers. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with lymphoma, connective tissue disease, or another type of illness after receiving breast implants, you may have a claim for monetary damages.
It costs nothing to speak with a product liability lawyer at our firm about your rights to compensation. Manufacturers who misrepresent the dangers of breast implants or conceal known side effects may be held liable in a court of law.
FDA reviews claims of breast implant illness & cancer
Earlier this year, FDA officials held a two-day conference to discuss safety concerns with silicone breast implants that the agency says can cause “inflammatory reactions and tissue changes causing pain and other symptoms that may interfere with their quality of life.” The meeting included talks from implant manufacturers, patient advocacy groups, and researchers.
One of the focal points of the meeting was the alarming rate of women who developed anaplastic large cell lymphoma after implant placement. This relatively rare cancer of the immune system has been reported in more than 450 American women, according to the agency. Most patients recovered from the disease after implant removal, but others needed chemotherapy to eliminate the cancer. Thus far, 17 deaths worldwide have been tied to breast implant-related anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
The conference also revisited the topic of “breast implant illness,” a broad term that describes multiple immune system problems ranging from weakness, migraines, and muscle pain to mental difficulties and other incapacitating symptoms. Some of these breast implant problems are part of a larger connective tissue disease, which includes rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases.
Lymphoma cases linked to textured implants
The vast majority of lymphoma cases have occurred in women who received textured breast implants, specifically those manufactured by Allergan. In July of 2019, Allergan announced a voluntary recall of its Biocell textured breast implants after federal health officials logged hundreds of cases of BIA-ALCL – all in women who were implanted with the Biocell devices.
A 2018 study, published in JAMA Oncology, found that textured silicone breast implants are 400 times more likely to cause anaplastic large cell lymphoma compared to smooth implants.
In light of growing safety concerns, Allergan has pulled these textured silicone implants off the market:
- BIOCELL textured implants
- BIOCELL tissue expanders
- Textured Natrelle Inspira implants
- Natrelle saline implants
- Natrelle 133 Tissue Expander
- BRST Breast Implants
- Natrelle 410 breast implants
Women sue over increased cancer risks
Allergan’s recalled breast implants with textured surfaces are at the heart of recent product liability litigation. Hundreds of women who developed anaplastic large cell lymphoma after getting the Biocell implants are filing a class action against Allergan. The plaintiffs allege that the company had knowledge of lymphoma risks for years but downplayed or diminished these risks to patients and the medical community.
Individual breast implant lawsuits are also being brought in U.S. courtrooms, claiming a failure to warn of heightened cancer risks.
Today, at least 573 cases of BIA-ALCL associated with breast implants have been logged worldwide, and 481 of these are tied to Allergan-made implants. Based on the latest numbers, the FDA states the risk of BIA-ALCL with BIOCELL textured implants is roughly 6 times higher than that with textured implants from other implant makers selling in the U.S.
Manufacturers of textured implants
While Allergan’s products dominated 80 percent of the textured breast implant market, other manufacturers make prosthetic implants with both smooth and textured surfaces. These include:
- Sientra makes silicone implants with textured and smooth surfaces
- Mentor World Wide, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, makes textured implants marketed as MemoryShape and MemoryGel
Breast implant litigation continues to mount, as plaintiffs sue for legal compensation based on allegations of:
- Failing to warn of cancer risks and breast implant problems
- Negligent misrepresentation
- Selling defective medical devices
How Showard Law Firm can help
Whether your breast implants were textured or smooth, you have a right to expect accurate warnings about the known risks and dangers. If you were diagnosed with BIA ALCL or any type of autoimmune disease following breast augmentation, we are here to advocate for your rights and fight for maximum compensation.
To find out if you are eligible for legal action, call our law offices today. The consultation is free and with no obligation to proceed.
- FDA, Risks and Complications of Breast Implants https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/risks-and-complications-breast-implants
- New York Times, Reports of Breast Implant Illnesses Prompt Federal Review https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/19/health/breast-implants-fda-illness.html
- Medical News Today, Risks of Breast Implant Surgery https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321610.php
- JAMA Oncology, Breast Implants and the Risk of Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma in the Breast https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2667737
- NBC News, LA Women File Lawsuits Against Breast Implant Maker Over Cancer Risks http://www.koreabiomed.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=6298