Breast Implant Side Effects

Breast Implant Side Effects
A growing number of legal claims suggest that silicone breast implants may cause a wide range of serious side effects, including excessive levels of heavy metals in the blood stream and silicone toxicity. While the number of pending claims is small, plaintiffs charge that thousands of women may be at risk for breast implant-related illness and complications.

Could Breast Implants Be Making You Ill? Contact an Attorney Today.

The attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are now evaluating potential lawsuits on behalf of women who developed debilitating symptoms or serious health conditions following breast augmentation or reconstruction with silicone implants, including:

  • 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

To learn if you could be entitled to compensation for breast implant side effects, please contact our office today by calling (888) 994-5118.

Silicone Breast Implants

In 1992, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) all but banned the use of silicone breast implants due to concerns over their potential side effects. By the time the agency acted, thousands of women had already filed suit for autoimmune and connective tissue disorders allegedly associated with the devices. The FDA rescinded its ban in 2006, despite lingering safety concerns. However, only three companies — Mentor Worldwide, Allergan Plc, and Sientra Inc.– have been authorized by the agency to market silicone implants in the U.S.

The majority of lawsuits filed over silicone breast implants in the 1980s and 1990s have been resolved. However, several recent filings suggest that a new wave of litigation could be about to get underway:

  • September 2016: A complaint filed in San Francisco federal court blames a Seattle woman’s serious illness on chemicals that allegedly bled from Mentor’s MemoryGel silicone implants. According to the complaint, tests have detected high levels of heavy metals in the plaintiff’s bloodstream, and she has been diagnosed with silicone toxicity, necessitating removal of her MemoryGel implants.
  • January 2017: A complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court claims that leaking implants caused a California woman to experience extreme fatigue, muscle pain, nausea and other serious side effects following her implant surgery. The plaintiff further alleges that her MemoryGel silicone implants were defective, and charges that Mentor never conducted proper safety studies as mandated by the FDA.

Breast Implant Cancer

In March 2017, the FDA confirmed a small, but significant risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) among breast implant patients.  The agency had been investigating the potential for breast implant cancer since 2011, and had since received more than 350 reports of the rare malignancy in patients with silicon or saline devices. At least 9 women had died as result of the disease.

ALCL is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that affects the cells of the immune system. When it occurs in patients with implants, it is usually seen in scar tissue around the device. However, ALCL can also occur in the skin or lymph nodes. The FDA noted that ALCL was more likely to occur in patients with textured implants, rather than those with smooth devices.

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 the device.

Legal Help for Victims of Breast Implant Side Effects

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free legal reviews to women who may be suffering from breast implant side effects.  If or a loved one developed complications or illnesses that could be related to silicone breast implants, please call (888) 994-5118 to learn more about the legal options available to you.

  1. The New York Times (1998) “Settlement on Breast Implant Claims” http://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/10/business/settlement-on-breast-implant-claims.html
  2. FDA (2017) “Silicone Gel-Filled Breast Implants” http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm063871.htm
  3. Bloomberg News (2017) “Johnson & Johnson Unit Sued Over Leaking Breast Implants” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-03/johnson-johnson-unit-sued-over-leaking-breast-implants
  4. FDA (March 2017) “Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)” https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm239995.htm

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Last Modified: March 28, 2017

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