Could Your Breast Implants Be Making You Sick?

Steve’s ex-wife had breast implants done in the late 1990s. Luckily, she was a very healthy person; she didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, and didn’t eat bad foods. Not too far after she started developing medical issues, including abnormal blood platelets, she was told that she had an autoimmune disorder. Unfortunately, she battled health issues until 2017. When she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, she died a year later. Now, Steve couldn’t prove it, but he always suspected that it was because of her breast implants. Unfortunately, the implants played a factor in the deterioration of her health and eventually her death.

Breast Implant Illness

Most people don’t know this, but many illnesses are associated with breast implants; countless patients refer to it as a breast implant illness. In contrast, the FDA is referring to these issues as systemic symptoms. The most common systemic symptoms that the FDA has reported are fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, anxiety, hair loss, depression, rash, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and weight fluctuation. There are way more, but those are the top illnesses that people report.

Breast Implant-Associated Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

In addition, several cancers are linked to breast implants. The most common one that people are researching is Breast Implant-Associated Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL); actually, it’s a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The FDA first got wind of these associations in 2011. In fact, the World Health Organization got involved at a certain point. They decided to designate breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) as T-cell lymphoma. Unfortunately, BIA-ALCL can be found in the scar tissues after a breast implant surgery. In even worse cases, BIA-ALCL can spread throughout the body. The risk of BIA-ALCL can be pretty low; however, if it does spread, it almost certainly will be fatal.

What To Know About BIA-ALCL

Some of the common symptoms of developing BIA-ALCL are redness, breast enlargement, lumps in the breast or armpit, asymmetry changes in appearance, skin rash, hardening of the breast, fatigue, and weight loss. Breast implants are the most studied device; however, there isn’t enough information about which breast implants could cause cancers. Sadly, many women will get breast implants after recovering from breast cancer. Down the road, they will start to develop these terrible symptoms and become severely ill yet again. Patients, families, and doctors will relate these symptoms to their chemo and even think that their cancer is coming back. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for them to connect the dots to their implants because they’ve trusted a doctor that has said breast implants are safe.

FDA Warnings For Breast Implants

The FDA has been cracking down on breast implants and revealing the hazards to potential patients. First, there is a black box warning on all implants. A black box warning is something that the FDA requires for specific products. For instance, your prescription medication may come with a black box warning – it is telling patients about potential rare but dangerous and sometimes deadly side effects. The black box warning for breast implants says that almost all women who have developed BIA-ALCL have had textured breast implants or expanders at some point. In addition, before getting breast implants, doctors need to go over a checklist with their patients. This checklist explains the risks that come with breast implants, the chemicals in breast implants, and the symptoms of implants.

A 2019 Breast Implant Recall

In June 2019, there was a particular textured implant that was what was recalled. Allergan notified the FDA that they were doing a worldwide recall of their BIO CELL textured breast implant products. This implant was heavily connected to Breast Implant-Associated Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). When someone gets a breast implant, they are given cards to identify which implant they got and from what company. However, after many years, patients may have lost this card. Then, they try and contact the doctor. Unfortunately, surgeons may have left their practice and do not have that information on file.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or illnesses, you may want to consider having your implants removed. Also, many people may not realize that breast implants are not meant to be lifetime devices. If you have had your breast implants for a certain period of time, they could become weak and start wreaking havoc on your body – reach out to a doctor to learn more information. For other tips and resources, follow The National Injured Senior Law Center on Facebook.