Breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery in the United States. Nearly half a million women get breast enlargement or reconstruction in the U.S. every year. Hundreds of thousands of them get textured implants.
Now, over 500 of these women have developed an unusual cancer caused by their textured breast implants. Over 30 of them have died.
These implants were recalled in Canada and Europe last year. Finally, the worst offenders are being recalled in the United States, where they are facing more and more lawsuits.
Multiple women have filed class-action lawsuits against Allergan, the maker of the textured breast implants linked to the rare cancer.
→ In August 2019, two women sued Allergan in a class-action lawsuit. They had to pay out of pocket for surgery to remove and replace their recalled implants.
→ In September 2019, another woman sued Allergan in a class-action lawsuit. She claimed that the company knew about the risk of cancer years before the recall.
A January 2018 study found that textured breast implants were 400 times more likely to cause a rare type of lymphoma compared to smooth implants.
Other types of implants can also cause complications and diseases down the line. Some of these diseases are so rare that they don’t have specific diagnoses. Unfortunately, many breast implant studies do not track long-term effects, which can be debilitating.
Harlan Law attorneys are taking on clients in all 50 states who have been injured by breast implants. Call us today at 619-870-0802 if you or a loved one:
- Developed cancer or another illness because of a breast implant, or
- Had to get breast implants removed because of the risk of cancer or illness.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help with your case.
Which Breast Implants Are Linked to Cancer?
Out of 573 known cases of textured breast implant-related cancer, 481 of them were linked to Allergan BIOCELL® textured implants.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), BIOCELL® textured implants carry 6 times the risk of cancer compared to other textured implants sold in the U.S.
As a result, Allergan is recalling the following textured breast implants:
- BRST Breast Implants
- Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Silicone Breast Implants
- Natrelle Saline-Filled and Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
- Textured Natrelle Inspira Silicone Breast Implants
- Allergan Natrelle 133 and 133 Plus Tissue Expanders
But Allergan isn’t the only manufacturer whose implants have been linked to cancer. Reports of cancer also include implants by Mentor, Sientra, and other companies.
Textured Breast Implants and Cancer
Textured implants are used in all types of breast augmentation surgeries. These include patients who undergo reconstructive surgery after being treated for breast cancer.
That means some people who have already had to deal with the devastating diagnosis of cancer are getting diagnosed a second time.
Can Breast Implants Cause Lymphoma?
Textured breast implants do not cause breast cancer. Instead, they cause an immune system cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a kind of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
A Review of Breast Implants and Lymphoma Risk
Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma does not affect breast tissue directly. The cancer actually develops in the tissue around the textured breast implant.
When it comes to developing ALCL, what’s inside the implant doesn’t matter as much as what’s on the surface. That means there’s no risk difference between saline (saltwater) or silicone implants. What matters is the cover – or shell – of the implant. This can be smooth or textured.
Textured implants have a rough shell that helps them stick to surrounding breast tissue and stay in place. It’s not clear why this causes cancer, but researchers think it could be related to inflammation around the implant.
Other possible factors include:
- Bacterial contamination at the site of the surgery
- A family history of lymphoma
In most cases, removing the implants and the scar tissue around the implant cures the cancer. But if the cancer isn’t caught early enough, it can spread and kill the patient.
So far, 38 countries have banned the use of textured implants.
If you had or currently have textured breast implants, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Harlan Law today. We’re here to fight for your health and your rights.
What Are the Symptoms of BIA-ALCL?
The main symptoms of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma are swelling and fluid around the implant. You could also have painless swelling in your lymph nodes, such as your armpits or neck. Other symptoms of BIA-ALCL could include:
- Fatigue, fever, night sweats, or loss of appetite
- Redness, lumps, or pain around the implant
- Changes in the shape or size of the breast
If you have these symptoms, your doctor could drain the fluid around your implant and test it for cancer. They could also take a sample of your lymph nodes to check for lymphoma cells.
Other Risks and Dangers of Breast Implants
Recently, the FDA warned some breast implant manufacturers that they had not properly studied the long-term health effects of implants.
The fact is, breast implants do not last a lifetime. The risk of complication grows the longer the implants are in the body. The FDA now recommends that women with breast implants get tested regularly for ruptures and other issues.
Because the long-term dangers of implants are not well studied, women are getting breast implants without knowing all the risks. This is especially true because many patients do not inspect implants before they go into their bodies.
Complications from breast implants could include:
- Severe muscle and joint pain
- Weakness, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties
- Connective tissue diseases, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Other serious autoimmune conditions
Some complications of breast implants are so little understood that experts refer to them generally as “breast implant illness.”
Breast Implant Lawsuits
If you or your loved one has had complications from breast implants, you or they could be entitled to damages to compensate for injuries and losses. These could include:
- Medical expenses that result from injuries
- Pain and suffering caused by injuries, treatment, or recovery process
- Loss of wages or earning capacity
- Loss of someone’s estate if they pass away
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Sometimes, personal injury cases can result in punitive damages too. Depending on the specifics of your case, compensatory and punitive damages could lead to a large settlement.
Call Harlan Law today at 619-870-0802 for your first, free consultation.