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Allergan Inc. is one of the largest breast implant manufacturers in the world. The company started selling breast implants in 2006 and now sells its products in more than 60 countries, according to market research company Technavio. Its biggest sales are in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Allergan’s flagship breast implant brand is Natrelle®, but it also sells implants under its subsidiaries Inamed and McGhan.
Allergan’s products are popular among surgeons, but health regulators have linked its Biocell textured implants to a rare type of cancer called Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). The disease is a type of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). Sometimes referred to as “gummy bear” implants, textured breast implants are a type of implant that has a textured outer shell, similar to sandpaper. The teardrop shape matched with the outer shell is meant to help the implant stick to the soft tissue and create a more natural look of the breast. The reason as to why texturing leads to cancer in some patients is unknown.
On July 24, 2019, Allergan announced it was voluntarily recalling its Biocell textured breast implants after the FDA logged hundreds of cases where women who had the implants developed Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer. It is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These cancerous cells develop in scar tissue and fluid near the implant, and in some cases it can spread and lead to death. In addition to the BIA-ALCL risk, these implants also had greater incidences of seromas, or fluid pockets, compared to other implants. They also carried a greater risk of performance failure, pain, rupture and scar tissue around implant known as capsule.
Symptoms of BIA-ALCL mainly include persistent swelling or pain around the breast implant. These symptoms can occur several years after receiving the implant. A doctor may find evidence of fluid collection around the implant or capsular contracture, which occurs when scar tissue squeezes the implant. Some women have reported lumps in their breasts.
The FDA's analysis of Allergan Biocell textured breast implants was attributed to a new worldwide reported total of 573 unique BIA-ALCL cases including 33 patient deaths. Of the 573 cases of BIA-ALCL, 481 are reported to have Allergan breast implants at the time of diagnosis. In addition, 12 of 13 deaths occurring in patients with BIA-ALCL where the manufacturer was known occurred in patients implanted with an Allergan breast implant at the time of their BIA-ALCL diagnosis. The manufacturer and/or texture is unknown for the remaining 20 reported deaths from BIA-ALCL.
On August 16, 2019 a nationwide class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against the medical device manufacturer Allergan to protect women with Allergan’s textured breast implants from the increased risk of Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), which has now been associated with Allergan’s BIOCELL textured breast implants.
If you or a loved one have received Allergan textured breast implants or tissue expanders you need to speak up! You might be eligible for financial compensation for your pain and suffering. Don’t suffer in silence. Fill out a no-cost claim review to see if you are eligible to receive compensation. – complete the free and easy claim review form today.
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