Allergan, a breast implant manufacturing company, is the subject of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall regarding their textured breast implants. Studies by the FDA and stories of numerous women found that these implants can cause BIA-ALCL, a rare but serious cancer. While many women are aware of the risks that these implants carry, they may also face significant damage to their health, finances, and emotional well-being. If you think you may have a case, contact an Allergan breast implant cancer lawyer.
The Allergan Recall
In July 2019, the FDA announced that it was requesting that Allergan, a pharmaceutical company and breast implant manufacturer, recall a specific type of textured implant from its consumer base. Since 2011, the FDA has studied the development of breast implant anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in women who had these textured implants. Allergan has complied with the request, and is now pulling these products from markets around the world.
Only certain implants from Allergan’s BioCell line are part of this recall, as well as some tissue expanders. As of now, the FDA has linked BIA-ALCL to textured implants only, not smooth implants – however, the agency will continue to monitor cases to identify further outbreaks.
The following products are part of the Allergan recall:
- Natrelle 133 Plus Tissue Expander
- Natrelle 133 Tissue Expander with Suture Tabs
- Natrelle Saline-Filled breast implants
- Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Filled breast implants
- Natrelle Inspira Silicone-Filled breast implants
- Natrelle Silicone-Filled breast implants
What Is BIA-ALCL?
BIA-ALCL is a rare type of lymphoma found in women who have had breast augmentation surgery using the identified textured breast implants and tissue expanders. This cancer is relatively rare and highly treatable when a doctor catches it early. However, some women have died as a result of BIA-ALCL.
Symptoms typically do not appear until a few years after the initial surgery, on average between 8 to 10 years. If you have an Allergan textured implant and you notice any of the following symptoms, visit a doctor as soon as possible.
- Breast hardening and fluid collection
- Enlargement of one or both breasts
- Asymmetry of the breast
- Pain in the breast
- A lump in the breast or armpit
- An overlying rash on the skin of the breast
What to Do If You Have a Textured Implant
If you have an Allergan textured breast implant, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. He or she will examine you and determine whether or not you have developed BIA-ALCL. If caught early, this cancer is very treatable and you will have a higher survival rate.
If you do not exhibit any symptoms, your doctor is not likely to advocate for removal surgery. This process is very invasive and not usually necessary unless you have BIA-ALCL. If you do receive a positive diagnosis, your doctor may recommend the following courses of treatment.
- Implant removal surgery
- Lymph node and bone marrow biopsies
- PET or CT scans
- Blood tests
- Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplantation for advanced cases
While BIA-ALCL is treatable and has a higher survival rate than some other cancers, the effects can be equally damaging. You may face high treatment costs and a reduced quality of life. You may have to undergo invasive treatments and suffer from physical, emotional, and financial damages. However, you can recover from these losses through a product liability lawsuit.
How to File a Lawsuit Against Allergan
When you file a lawsuit against Allergan in civil court, you and your attorney will need to prove that you received a defective implant and present the evidence linking BIA-ALCL to your specific implant. In addition, you will need to prove that you received a diagnosis for BIA-ALCL and suffered recoverable losses as a result. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could collect compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and more. However, you need an Orange County personal injury attorney on your side to help you gather the evidence, file necessary paperwork, and consult with expert witnesses to build your case. After your diagnosis and initial treatment, contact a lawyer working on BIA-ALCL litigation to discuss your legal options.