Legal Help For Defective Allergan Breast Implants in Alabama

Fighting for restitution for women who have been injured by textured breast implants

On July 24, 2019, Allergan, the maker of breast implants and related products, issued a voluntary recall of BIOCELL® Textured Breast Implants and Tissue Expanders due to their strong association between these products and breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (“BIA-ALCL”). The recall follows a safety advisory from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Whether you are a woman who has sought cosmetic breast enhancement surgery, or you needed reconstructive surgery following your recovery from a mastectomy, you have a right to feel assured that the products being implanted into your body are safe. That’s why Martin & Helms is pursuing claims for women who have been affected by these textured surface breast implants. We understand that you are entrusting your health to companies who sell these implants, and they need to get it right. Contact our product liability lawyers in Huntsville or Decatur to learn if you may be entitled to compensation.

What Allergan products are included under this recall?

While they are advising against removal of implants already in use by asymptomatic women due to added risk, according to Allergan, there are 11 categories of their breast implant and expander products being immediately recalled. Multiple styles of each of the below categories have been advised against future implantation:

  • Natrelle Saline breast implant
  • Natrelle and McGhan 410 breast implant
  • Natrelle and McGhan 410 Soft Touch breast implant
  • Natrelle 510 Dual-Gel
  • Natrelle INSPIRA breast implants,
  • Natrelle and McGhan Round Gel Implants
  • Natrelle Komuro breast implants
  • Natrelle Ritz Princess breast implant
  • Natrelle 150 Full Height and Short Height double lumen implants
  • Natrelle 133 tissue expanders with and without suture tabs
  • Natrelle 133 Plus tissue expander

If you have used any of these products, you could be at a significantly higher risk for BIA-ALCL.

What is BIA-ALCL?

BIA-ALCL is a type of lymphoma primarily linked to textured-surfaced breast implants that affects the immune system. When detected early enough, this form of cancer is typically treatable depending upon how far it may have spread throughout your body.

Currently, there have been 573 cases of BIA-ALCL, and 33 deaths reported around the world. Of those, 481 of these BIA-ALCL cases and 12 deaths are specifically linked to the Allergan implants.

Symptoms pointing to a BIA-ALCL diagnosis

No one wants to wake up one day to find that a surgical procedure she had years ago is now suddenly causing health complications. You assume that if your doctor has cleared you after a procedure to return to normal life, as you know it, that everything is perfectly fine.

General breast pain, breast enlargement, asymmetry, or feeling a lump in your breast or armpit are more common symptoms of a problem. Additional indicators of this type of lymphoma include an overlying skin rash, hardening of your breast(s), or a lot of fluid collecting around the area of your implants.

Should I have my textured breast implants removed?

Allergan textured-surface breast implants have been preferred over smooth surface implants in some breast augmentation and reconstruction procedures because they better ensure that the implant will remain in place and avoid capsular contracture – the result of implant being squeezed from scar tissue. If you are considering removal of your implants due to the recent health warning of BIA-ALCL, there are serious risks that you need to consider before making that decision.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, removing your implants could lead to:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Death of fatty tissue (necrosis)
  • Accumulation of fluid (seroma)
  • Skin loss
  • Loss of elasticity in the skin
  • Numbness or discoloration of the nipple, areola, or breast
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry

Anytime someone undergoes surgery, there is always danger associated with being placed under anesthesia, and revision surgeries are no exception. Understand, too, that if you do not exhibit any symptoms, and you choose to undergo voluntary removal, your insurance may not pay for the procedure.

If, however, you do exhibit symptoms of BIA-ALCL related to your Allergan textured breast implants, you should seek a medical consult immediately. Removing the breast implants and/or tissue expanders will necessary.

Am I entitled to compensation if my defective textured breast implants gave me cancer? When you have been injured due to the failure of a product you have used, you may be entitled to receive compensation, called damages, to make you whole again. In a products liability case where you have been harmed, you could be awarded:

  • Medical expenses for your current and future treatment, care, and recovery
  • Lost wages for time away from work to attend to medical appointments and other needs
  • Loss of future earning potential in the event that you can no longer work, or are unable to return to the same employment, resulting in lower wage earning
  • Pain and suffering for the actual mental and physical ordeal you have experienced as a result of your injury

In cases of the wrongful death of your loved one, punitive damages may be available.

Steps you should take if you have breast implants

Consulting with your doctor

Even if you have not yet experienced symptoms, if you have Allergan breast implants, it would be wise to consult with your doctor to determine whether you should undergo testing for BIA-ALCL. If you test negative for lymphoma, you should discuss your options with your doctor to weigh the risks between leaving your implants intact, or having them removed.

For women who have BIA-ALCL, when caught early, it may be treated successfully with surgery to remove the implant and surrounding scar tissue, and in some patients, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be required.

Report any issues

Either you, or your doctor, should report any BIA-ALCL diagnosis related to breast implants to MedWatch, a division of the FDA. Reporting will assist the agency in maintaining accurate statistical data regarding adverse reactions to these products, which can help prevent more women from becoming ill in the future. You can complete the voluntary reporting form on their website.

Act fast if you've been injured

If you have been injured by Allergan, or another brand of breast implant, you need to act quickly to protect your rights. Barring certain exceptions, the statute of limitations in Alabama for filing a lawsuit in a products liability claim is just 2 years from the date of injury. Depending upon when you received your breast implant-related lymphoma diagnosis, you could already be running out of time to file a claim to recover damages you may be entitled to.

At Martin & Helms, our Huntsville defective breast implant attorneys understand the urgency of filing these claims to fiercely preserve your ability to seek justice for your injury. That’s why our attorneys work on a contingency basis; so that you can focus on your physical health, without further jeopardizing your financial health to fight for what’s right.

Speak with our Alabama attorneys about your defective Allergan breast implants

When you undergo plastic surgery, you expect a successful procedure from which you heal, and go about living a healthy life afterwards. Never do you think that a cosmetic procedure could cause a disease, or even your death years later. You should never have to go through the stress of that experience, and neither should your family.

To schedule your free consultation to see how our product liability attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve, Martin & Helms invite you to call our offices in Huntsville or Decatur at 256-539-1990 or share your experience with us through our contact page. We also proudly serve the North Alabama areas of Madison and Athens.