Breast Implant Illness

Breast Implant Illness
Breast implant illness may be characterized by muscle pain, nausea, skin rashes, extreme fatigue and other debilitating symptoms. Women who experienced these issues following implantation of silicone gel breast implants are now pursuing lawsuits against device manufacturers

Legal Help for Victims of Breast Implant Illness

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP has assisted hundreds of people injured by allegedly defective medical devices. We are now investigating claims of breast implant illness associated with leaking, ruptured or otherwise defective silicone implants. To learn more, please contact our office at (888) 994-5118.

What is Breast Implant Illness?

In the 1980s and 1990s, tens of thousands of women filed lawsuits over injuries and illnesses allegedly associated with silicone breast implants. Billions of dollars were spent to settle these claims, and the massive litigation resulted in the bankruptcy of Dow Corning. Dow and other device manufacturers eventually decided to pull out of the market, while the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) imposed a near-ban on the use of silicone breast implants in 1992.

Despite lingering safety concerns, the FDA lifted restrictions on silicone breast implants in 2006. Today, Mentor Worldwide, Allergan Plc, and Sientra Inc. are the only companies authorized to market silicone implants in the U.S. A total of five silicone devices are now approved for use in breast augmentation and reconstruction:

  • Allergan Natrelle
  • Allergan Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Mentor MemoryGel
  • Mentor MemoryShape
  • Sientra’s Silicone Gel Breast Implants

Several recent lawsuits have been filed on behalf of women who claim to be suffering from breast implant side effects and  illnesses due to defective silicone gel implants. Symptoms described in their complaints include:

  • Hives, itching and skin rashes
  • Severe fatigue
  • Pain in breasts, chest, lymph nodes and/or ribs
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Excessive amounts of heavy metal in the bloodstream
  • Silicone toxicity
  • Shortness of breath
  • Poor wound healing
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Gastrointestinal problems

One of the first such lawsuits was filed in September 2016 by a Seattle woman who claims that chemicals used in the manufacture of  Mentor’s MemoryGel implants were able to bleed from the devices. This resulted in a breast implant illness that caused skin rashes, extreme fatigue, excessive levels of heavy metals in her blood stream, silicone toxicity and other serious health problems.

The following January, a California MemoryGel recipient  filed a breast implant lawsuit after suffering pain, nausea, skin rashes, and extreme fatigue, allegedly due to leaking silicone. Among other things, her lawsuit claims that Mentor’ silicone breast implants may have caused thousands of women to develop similar health issues.

Breast Implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)

In 2011, the FDA first warned of a possible link between breast implants and a rare cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). In March 2017, the agency confirmed this link, after receiving 359 reports of ALCL that had occurred in breast implant patients. Nine women had reportedly died from breast implant cancer.

ALCL is not breast cancer. It is a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that affects the cells of the immune system. While it generally occurs in the breasts of patients with implants, ALCL can also occur in the lymph nodes and skin.

ALCL is treatable if detected early. The FDA is advising women to monitor their breast implants and contact their doctors promptly if they notice pain, swelling or any changes in or around their breast implant.

Contact an Attorney Today

Women who experienced symptoms of a breast implant illness following augmentation or reconstructive surgery with silicone gel implants may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about the legal options available to you, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP at (888) 994-5118.

  1. PBS Frontline (N.D.) “Chronology of Silicone Breast Implants”
  2. The New York Times (1998) “Settlement on Breast Implant Claims”
  3. FDA (2017) “Silicone Gel-Filled Breast Implants”
  4. Bloomberg News (2017) “Johnson & Johnson Unit Sued Over Leaking Breast Implants”
  5. FDA (March 2017) “Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)”
  6. FDA (March 2017) “Questions and Answers about Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)”


Last Modified: March 28, 2017

Get the latest news and litigation updates about this case by following us on Facebook. Click the "Like" button below.


Follow Us on Google+ on Facebook on LinkedIn on Twitter on YouTube on Pinterest

Skip to content