Receiving breast augmentation surgery is not an easy decision, and you may spend a significant amount of money on the procedure. Due to this commitment, we expect the breast implants we receive to meet a certain standard of care – but sometimes, these implants can have defects that lead to a recall. If you have recalled implants in your body, should you visit a surgeon for removal?
What Is BIA-ALCL?
Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a type of cancer recently linked to textured breast implants produced by the pharmaceutical company Allergan. The cancer is rare, impacting one in every 2,207 to 86,029 women, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
BIA-ALCL is also highly treatable if a doctor catches it in time. If you develop BIA-ALCL, the first step is to perform a removal surgery. If the case is especially severe or advanced, you may have to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Rare cases may require stem cell therapy.
What Implants Did the FDA Recall?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently recalled a number of textured breast implants from the manufacturer Allergan in 2019, as well as two types of tissue extenders. If you have any of the following products from Allergan, speak to your doctor immediately about possible symptoms of BIA-ALCL and his or her recommendations for removal surgery.
- Natrelle Saline-Filled breast implants
- Natrelle Inspira Silicone-Filled breast implants
- Natrelle Silicone-Filled breast implants
- Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Filled breast implants
- Natrelle 133 Plus Tissue Expander
- Natrelle 133 Tissue Expander with Suture Tabs
The Symptoms of BIA-ALCL
Not all women with the textured breast implants will develop BIA-ALCL, but if this recall affects you, you should keep an eye out for the following symptoms. Typically, symptoms of BIA-ALCL do not manifest until three to 14 years after the initial surgery.
- Sudden, unexplainable breast enlargement
- Asymmetry of the breasts, or the two breasts looking different from one another
- Hardening of the breast
- A lump in the armpit or breast
- Fluid buildup in the breast
- An overlying skin rash
Because BIA-ALCL is relatively rare, your doctor may not recommend that you undergo removal surgery unless you develop symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, the FDA does not recommend removal surgery either. If you develop any of the above symptoms, speak to your doctor immediately.
Legal Options After BIA-ALCL Diagnosis
Defective breast implants can lead to significant damages. You may have to undergo significant medical procedures, requiring surgeries, medications, chemotherapies, and more. You may not be able to work during your treatments or while you recover. The treatments, especially chemotherapy and implant removal surgery, may be painful. In addition, you may suffer from emotional distress, depression, and anxiety.
In these situations, you could claim compensation for your losses through a defective product lawsuit against Allergan. Through a lawsuit in civil court, you can hold the manufacturer liable for multiple types of economic and non-economic damages.
- Past and future medical treatments
- Surgeries and hospitalizations
- Disability accommodations
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Chronic pain
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Loss of quality of life
You will need an breast implant cancer attorney on your side to file your lawsuit against Allergan. Your attorney can provide numerous resources and expert witnesses to help successfully litigate your case, increasing your chances of receiving maximum possible compensation. In addition, your attorney will be familiar with the negotiation and filing processes you need to complete to file your claim – allowing you to focus on recovery.
Filing a lawsuit may be your best option to recover following your BIA-ALCL diagnosis. If you believe that your breast implants could lead to the development of this cancer, contact your doctor as soon as possible. After your doctor advises you on your next steps, speak to a defective product attorney to discuss your legal options.