BIA-ALCL is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can develop in the fluid around a breast implant. It can manifest itself several years after the surgery. Symptoms include:
- Swelling around the implant
- Pain in the area of the implant
- Fluid collection around the implant
- Hardening or mass under the skin around the implant
If you have breast implants and have experienced one or more of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately. In this article, we will explore some legal remedies that may be available to you as a former breast implant patient diagnosed with BIA-ALCL.
Link Between Breast Implants and BIA-ALCL
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been monitoring a possible link between ALCL and implants since 2011. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated BIA-ALCL as a T-cell lymphoma that develops following breast implants, and the FDA concurred with WHO in 2017.
In 2019, deaths attributed to ALCL increased 250 percent in under six months, significantly raising concerns and prompting the FDA to further establish a connection between breast implants and ALCL. The increase in global cases and deaths is captured between the FDA’s February (FDA February 2019 Letter) and July reports (FDA Press Release, July 2019):
- 573 global cases of BIA-ALCL (an increase of 116 cases)
- 33 deaths (an increase of 24 deaths)
- 12 deceased patients are confirmed to have Allergan breast implants (of 13 patient inquiries completed)
As a result of these reports, Allergan, a leading manufacturer of breast implants, issued a voluntary worldwide recall of their Biocell textured breast implants and expanders. France, Australia and Canada banned the devices earlier in the year. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of women have these breast implants.
The FDA is initiating new actions to ensure that all women considering implants have an informed discussion with their medical provider about the benefits and risks of breast implants.
Recovering Medical Costs and Damages
If you need medical treatment, a lawsuit may be your only option to cover costly medical, transportation and lodging expenses associated with the treatment of BIA-ALCL. You may have a valid claim against breast implant manufacturers if the following two conditions apply to you:
- You have had breast augmentation surgery for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes
- You are suffering from ALCL, regardless if your diagnosis was years after your implant surgery
Due to the large number of potential BIA-ALCL victims, an individual or class action lawsuit against Allergan or other breast implant manufacturers may be necessary. A class action lawsuit involves multiple patients with the same harm — in this case, ALCL — alleging that the manufacturer is responsible. As a victim of BIA-ALCL, you want to ensure that you are included in the class in order to recover any award or settlement initiated as a result of the lawsuit. The best way to ensure that your rights as a BIA-ALCL victim are preserved is by contacting an attorney experienced in medical device liability.
The knowledgeable and skilled attorneys at Allan Berger & Associates are here to fight this battle for you. For a complimentary consultation, contact us today at (504) 526-2222.