Many women who survived breast cancer now have another worry to live with due to the Biocell textured breast implant manufactured by Allergan: lymphoma. Those who were given the implant have a significantly high risk of developing Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer—it is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system). In most cases, BIA-ALCL is found in the scar tissue and fluid near the implant, but in some cases, it can spread throughout the body. BIA-ALCL diagnosis is serious and can lead to death, especially if not diagnosed early or promptly treated. In most patients, BIA-ALCL is treated successfully with surgery to remove the implant and the scar tissue surrounding the implant; however, some patients may require treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
With this breast implant, lymphoma symptoms include:
- swelling, pain, lumps around the implant
- chronic fatigue
- hair loss
- intestinal issues
- unexplained rashes & itching
Of the 573 cases of BIA-ALCL that have been reported, 481 women had Allergen breast implants at the time of diagnosis. This is 6x higher than other textured breast implants. Lymphoma related to the implants has been the cause of 33 patient deaths worldwide. BIA-ALCL diagnoses date back to 2010, and Allergan lymphoma lawsuits allege that the company failed to report all the adverse events related to its products.
Allergan has displayed gross negligence with their Biocell implant products. The safety risks associated with textured breast implants have been under investigation since 2017, yet Allergan only issued a recall when required by the FDA in July of 2019. Additionally, Allergan continued to sell their textured implants even though they were recalled in Canada in May of 2019 and in Europe in December of 2018.
What should I do if I have received Allergan Breast Implants?
If you received breast implants manufactured by Allergan, lymphoma should be discussed with your doctor. Physicians can diagnose BIA-ALCL through a physical exam, an assessment of fluid and tissue in the implant area, and imaging techniques. The FDA did recommend that anyone who is diagnosed with BIA-ALCL should consult a surgeon to have their implants and the surrounding scar tissue, sometimes called the capsule, removed. Some cases will require chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Many physicians are supportive of the FDA’s decision to issue a recall.
The FDA did not advise patients with Allergan Biocell textured breast implants to have their implants removed unless they show symptoms.
If you have had an Allergan implant, even if not yet symptomatic, you should consult a medical malpractice lawyer. Contact us for more information so that we can keep you advised on the litigation. If you have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, you time to file a claim is ticking and you should contact us as soon as possible.