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Understanding Allergan Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuits

Understanding Allergan Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuits
Karlin & Karlin Injury Attorneys

Breast implants are among the most common and requested types of plastic surgery. Whether done for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes, the procedure helps many women feel more attractive and self-confident. Unfortunately, it also carries certain risks, particularly for patients with textured breast implants.

Textured breast implants made by one leading manufacturer, Allergan, Inc. and its subsidiaries, are linked to a serious and potentially life-threatening type of cancer. Our California medical malpractice attorneys explain how filing an Allergan breast implant lawsuit can help victims get a sense of justice and compensation for their physical pain, emotional trauma, and medical costs. To discuss whether this may be an option in your case, consider calling Karlin & Karlin at 888-295-0138 to request a free consultation.

What Is Breast Implant-Associated Cancer?

Breast implants do not cause breast cancer. They can, however, increase your risks of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL, which is a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Whereas breast cancer involves cancerous cells that form in actual breast tissues, BIA-ALCL involves cancer cells that develop in the scar tissues and fluids that build up around the implant itself. states that while the risk of developing BIA-ALCL is relatively low, women who have had breast implant surgery should remain alert for potential symptoms. These include:

  • Unexplained breast enlargement;
  • Swelling due to a build-up of fluids in the area;
  • Differences in the shape and/or positioning of each breast;
  • Noticeable lumps in the breast or armpit area;
  • Increasing pain and discomfort;
  • Rashes and hardening of the skin;
  • Enlarged lymph nodes;
  • Fever;
  • Loss of appetite and unexplained weight-loss.

BIA-ALCL and associated symptoms may not appear until multiple years after having breast implant surgery. Even if the procedure was performed more than ten years ago, you should always report any discomfort or problems immediately to your doctor. While BIA-ALCL is treatable, it can spread throughout the body and has the potential to be life-threatening if left undetected.

The Link Between Textured Implants and Breast Implant-Associated Cancer

There are two different types of breast implants that plastic surgeons can use in performing breast enhancement surgeries: smooth-surfaced or textured implants. Textured breast implants are generally preferred, as their rough, nubby shell adheres to breast tissues better. This helps to prevent the implants from changing position or slipping out of the pocket the plastic surgeon created to put them in. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) states that of the 550,000 breast implant surgeries performed each year, roughly 70,000 of these involve textured implants. These are the patients most at risk of breast implant-associated cancers.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first identified a link between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in 2011. By 2016, they identified that the disease seemed to primarily impact patients with textured implants. By 2019, spikes in the number of confirmed diagnoses finally prompted the FDA to take action in issuing a recall.

Recall of Allergan Textured Implants

The target of the FDA recall was Allergan, Inc., a global pharmaceutical company that produced, along with its subsidiaries, textured implants and other items used in performing breast implant surgery. The following are products commonly used by plastic surgeons in performing breast enhancement procedures, which were included as part of the recall:

  • McGhan BioDimensional Silicone-Filled Biocell Textured Breast Implants
  • McGhan Magna-Site Tissue Expander
  • McGhan Style 134 Croissant Shaped Tissue Expander
  • Natrelle 133 Plus Issue Expanders
  • Natrelle 133 Tissue Expanders with and without suture tabs
  • Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Natrelle Inspira Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Natrelle Saline Breast Implants
  • Natrelle Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style 133 Biospan Tissue Expander

It is important to note that concerns over breast implant-associated cancer are not limited to the United States. Close to 1,000 BIA-ALCL cases have been reported around the world and other countries, including France, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada, have taken similar actions in pulling Allergan breast implants and associated products off the market.

Impacts Of Breast Implant-Associated Cancer

Women with textured implants who have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL suffer both physically and emotionally. In addition to the discomfort of their symptoms, they are likely to worry about their future health, how the situation will impact their loved ones, and may even blame themselves or feel ashamed of the decision to get implants in the first place. Meanwhile, diagnostic tests and treatment can be painful and expensive. This is likely to include:

  • Seemingly endless rounds of bloodwork,
  • Computed tomography and other types of scans;
  • Procedures to remove the implant and surrounding breast tissues;
  • Radiation of impacted areas;
  • Courses of chemotherapy;
  • Possible reconstructive surgery.

An Allergan breast implant cancer lawsuit can provide victims a sense of justice in this situation and the compensation they need to recover. Even in cases where patients have not yet developed BIA-ALCL, a lawsuit may still be an option.

Compensation Available in an Allergan Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuit

At Karlin & Karlin, we guide clients in filing an Allergan breast implant cancer lawsuit, holding the company and its subsidiaries responsible for defective design, failure to warn patients of potential hazards, false or misleading sales tactics, and general negligence. Common types of compensation available in these cases include:

  • Current and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages and future losses in income due to long term disabilities;
  • Pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life;
  • Current and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages and future losses in income due to long term disabilities;
  • Pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life;
  • Punitive damages, designed to punish the company for their negligent behavior.

Request A Consultation with Our California Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today

When doctors and medical device companies put profits over patients’ safety, Karlin & Karlin Injury Attorneys help clients hold them accountable. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our goal is to provide victims a sense of justice and the compensation they need to recover. To find out more about filing an Allergan breast implant cancer lawsuit, consider contacting us at (888) 295-0138 or contact our California medical malpractice attorneys online to request a free consultation today.

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