If you have received the BIOCELL implants, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against Allergan. The product liability attorneys at the law firm of Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers can help you to understand the legal options that you might have.
Which Allergan breast implants are included in the recall?
If you have implants on the recall list but are asymptomatic, Allergan is advising against removing the implants because of the potential risks. There are 11 different categories of the Allergan implants and tissue expanders that are being recalled. Each of the following categories includes numerous styles that are being recalled:
- Natrelle and McGhan 410 Soft Touch breast implants
- Natrelle and McGhan 410 breast implants
- Natrelle Saline breast implants
- Natrelle 510 dual-gel breast implants
- Natrelle and McGhan round gel implants
- Natrelle Inspira breast implants
- Natrelle Ritz Princess breast implants
- Natrelle Komuro breast implants
- Natrelle 150 full and short height double-lumen breast implants
- Natrelle 133 tissue expanders
- Natrelle 133 Plus tissue expanders
If your implants fall into any of these categories of products, you may have a heightened risk for developing a type of cancer called BIA-ALCL.
What is BIA-ALCL?
BIA-ALCL stands for breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma. It is cancer that involves the immune system and has been linked to breast implants with textured surfaces. When BIA-ALCL is detected early, it is often treatable. However, if it is not caught early enough, it may spread throughout the body.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the FDA has received 573 reports of BIA-ALCL cases worldwide that are associated with textured breast implants. Thirty-three deaths have been reported from BIA-ALCL. Among the reported cases, 481 have specifically been linked to the implants from Allergan. Twelve deaths have similarly been linked to these products.
What are the symptoms of BIA-ALCL?
Multiple symptoms might indicate that you have BIA-ALCL, including the following:
- Enlargement of the breast
- Generalized pain in the breast
- Breast asymmetry
- Lump in the armpit or breast
- Hardening of the breast
- Skin rash
- Fluid building up around the implant area
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor. If you are diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, it is better for you to get an early diagnosis than to wait.
Removal of textured breast implants
Doctors have chosen the textured breast implants from Allergan because they help the implants to stay in place and help to prevent the implants from being squeezed by scar tissue. If you are worried about the potential for developing BIA-ALCL and are thinking about having your textured breast implants removed, you need to be aware of the risks before you go through with the removal.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons warns that breast implant removal can result in the following complications:
• Anesthesia complications
• Asymmetry of the breasts
• Deep vein thrombosis
• Fatty tissue necrosis
• Fluid buildup
• Numbness or changes in nipple sensation
• Numbness or changes in skin sensation
• Persistent pain
• Poor healing of incisions
• Potential need for revision surgery
• Recurring skin looseness
• Skin discoloration or swelling
• Skin loss
• Suboptimal aesthetic result
There are always potential dangers when you undergo surgery. If you are asymptomatic and choose to have your breast implants removed voluntarily, the procedure might not be covered by your medical insurance. If you do have BIA-ALCL symptoms, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, your breast implants and tissue expanders will need to be removed.
If you have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL after you have had textured breast implants, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses. Some of the types of damages for which you might be entitled include the following:
- Past and future medical expenses related to your treatment and recovery
- Past wage losses
- Future losses of your earning potential if you are no longer able to work or can only work in a reduced capacity
- Physical pain and suffering that you have endured
- Mental trauma
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost your loved one to BIA-ALCL
- Loss of consortium in a wrongful death case
- Lost inheritance rights in a wrongful death case
What to do if you have Allergan breast implants
If you have textured breast implants from Allergan, it is a good idea for you to talk to your doctor even if you are asymptomatic. You might want to be tested for BIA-ALCL. If you receive negative results, you can weigh your options and risks for either leaving your breast implants in place or removing them.
If you are diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, and it is caught early, your doctor may be able to successfully treat it with surgery to remove your implants and the scar tissue that surrounds them. If cancer has spread, you might need to undergo chemotherapy and radiation. You should report a BIA-ALCL diagnosis that is related to your implants to the FDA’s MedWatch. This helps the FDA to track adverse reactions so that the agency can prevent more people from developing BIA-ALCL in the future.
Potential liability for a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL
If you have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL after you have received Allergan textured breast implants, Allergan may be liable to pay monetary damages to you through a product liability lawsuit. As the manufacturer of the defective breast implants, Allergan should be responsible to pay damages to people who have suffered harm.
You need to act quickly if you have developed BIA-ALCL from your breast implants. The statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in California is two years from the date that you discovered or reasonably should have discovered your injuries. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you may be barred from recovering damages to pay for your losses.
Talk to our experienced product liability attorneys today
When you undergo breast reconstruction or cosmetic surgical procedures, you should feel confident that you will be able to move forward with your life. Unfortunately, some breast implants and other medical devices are defective and can cause serious harm to people who receive them. The experienced product liability attorneys at the law firm of Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers can help you to understand your legal rights. Schedule a free consultation to learn about the rights that you might have by calling us at 310.592.0445. We work on a contingent-fee basis, which means that you will not have to pay attorney’s fees until and unless we can recover damages for you.