Why Allergan Textured Breast Implants Are Causing Cancer

doctor holding breast implants

It’s not unusual for the topic of breast implants to make the news — after all, many people regularly tune into TMZ and ‘Inside Edition,’ or else they flip through tabloid magazines in the grocery store checkout line where the subject of “breast implants” might be considered fairly common.

What is highly unusual, however, is for breast implants to be portrayed in the news as a serious and legitimate threat to women’s health.

With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recall of textured breast implants, public health has now breached the forefront of the conversation. Breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), once thought of as a rarity, is in fact more common than researchers originally thought.

When the FDA announced its recall on textured breast implants, they were following the actions of France’s National Agency for Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) and other nations around the world that have taken similar steps to protect women from needlessly developing a rare — and potentially deadly — form of lymphoma.

Symptoms: The First Signs That Something Is Wrong

Symptoms of BIA-ALCL may crop up slowly.

A woman who has had breast enhancement surgery may start to feel and/or experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Inexplicable chest pain
  • Chills
  • Rashes
  • Hair loss

Other symptoms that have been reported to the FDA include breast asymmetry, breast or chest swelling, breast hardening, lumps in the breast or armpit, redness, and weight loss.

The culprit? Their breast implants. According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch, these symptoms can be “vague” at first but soon become “debilitating,” keeping some women home from work and unable to complete routine, day-to-day tasks. These symptoms are not just uncomfortable, they also hide a sinister underlying cause: Cancer.

BIA-ALCL is a rare type of T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is not the same as breast cancer. Lymphomas are classified as a cancer of the lymphatic, or immune, system. Because the immune system is compromised in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it can be especially deadly. If gone undetected, lymphoma can spread throughout the body.

Cases of BIA-ALCL have been found in the fibrous scar tissue and fluid capsule near the textured breast implant.

As of July 6, 2019, the FDA has received 573 reports of breast-implant cancer, or BIA-ALCL.

All Fingers Point Toward Allergan

It was only a decade ago that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first detected a link between breast implants and cancer of the lymphatic system. Since then, numerous studies have indicated similar connections between certain types of breast implants and an increased risk of cancer.

Studies have specifically shown an increased risk of BIA-ALCL linked directly to Allergan’s recently recalled BIOCELL® textured breast implants and tissue expanders. Smooth (non-textured) implants have not been linked to this cancer. Since the publication of these studies, the FDA and World Health Organization (WHO) have both identified BIA-ALCL as a type of cancer that can develop after breast implant surgery.

Approximately 36% (12 out of 33) of cases involving BIA-ALCL-related deaths have been attributed to the product manufacturer Allergan.

Since the FDA’s recall of certain Allergan breast implants, many women who have been impacted have filed lawsuits seeking both justice and compensation. At the very least, many of these women simply want Allergan to pay for the removal and replacement of their breast implants.

When one factors in the resulting trauma from an unexpected and rare cancer diagnosis, mentally and physically draining symptoms, and costly invasive surgeries, it is no wonder victims are outraged. According to recently filed lawsuits, victims allege that the company knew of the risks of their textured implants long before they recalled select products in 2019.

Which Allergan Breast Implants Have Been Recalled?

Not all styles of Allergan breast implants have been recalled by the FDA. Only specific styles of textured breast implants and certain tissue expanders are part of the agency’s recall.

The lists below detail the recalled styles of Allergan implants. At this time, the FDA recommends that women with these styles of implants and tissue expanders do not remove them if no BIA-ALCL symptoms are present.

Always consult your health care provider for more information and further evaluation if you are concerned.

Allergan Natrelle Saline-Filled Textured Breast Implants

The following styles have been recalled:

  • Style 163: BIOCELL Textured Shaped Full Height, Full Projection Saline Breast Implants
  • Style 168: BIOCELL Textured Round Moderate Profile Saline Breast Implants
  • Style 363: BIOCELL Textured Shaped Moderate Height, Full Projection Saline Breast Implants
  • Style 468: BIOCELL Textured Shaped Full Height Moderate Projection Saline Breast Implants

Allergan Natrelle Silicone-Filled Textured Breast Implants

The following styles have been recalled:

  • Style 110: BIOCELL Textured Round Moderate Projection Gel-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style 115: BIOCELL Textured Round Midrange Projection Gel-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style 120: BIOCELL Textured Round High Projection Gel-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TRL: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Responsive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TRLP: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Responsive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TRM: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Responsive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TRF: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Responsive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TRX: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Responsive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TCL: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Cohesive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TCLP: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Cohesive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TCM: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Cohesive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TCF: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Cohesive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TCX: Natrelle Inspira BIOCELL Textured Cohesive Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TSL: Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Soft Touch Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TSLP: Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Soft Touch Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TSM: Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Soft Touch Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TSF: Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Soft Touch Silicone-Filled Breast Implants
  • Style TSX: Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Soft Touch Silicone-Filled Breast Implants

Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Filled Breast Implants

The following textured styles have been recalled:

  • Style 410FM
  • Style 410FF
  • Style 410MM
  • Style 410 MF
  • Style 410 FL
  • Style 410 ML
  • Style 410 LL
  • Style 410 LM
  • Style 410 LF
  • Style 410 FX
  • Style 410 MX
  • Style 410 LX

Allergan Tissue Expanders With BIOCELL Texturing

The following products have been recalled:

  • Natrelle 133 Plus Tissue Expander
  • Natrelle 133 Tissue Expander with Suture Tabs

Allergan Breast Implant Lawsuits

In so many cases of this magnitude, it soon becomes very clear when a company failed to hold up their end of the bargain in the manufacturer-consumer relationship. Allergan’s breast implants are no exception. For its part, Allergan simply did not have the customer’s best interest in mind while manufacturing, marketing, and selling their products.

As a result? Hundreds of women have developed an extremely rare form of cancer, and several women have now been reported to have died.

It’s time to fight back. Women should never, ever, be treated as lab rats — to be experimented on with a product that may not even be market-ready — all so that a multi-billion-dollar company can maximize profits for its shareholders.

The attorneys at Sokolove Law have been fighting product liability cases on behalf of wrongly injured victims for nearly half a century. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with BIA-ALCL or if you’ve had breast implants removed due to the recall, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a breast implant lawsuit. Contact Sokolove Law today to learn more.

Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: November 5, 2020

View 4 Sources
  1. Clemens, Mark. American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “BIA-ALCL Resources: By the Numbers, and What They Mean.” Retrieved from https://www.plasticsurgery.org/for-medical-professionals/health-policy/bia-alcl-physician-resources/by-the-numbers. Accessed Feb. 5, 2020.

  2. FDA, “Questions and Answers about Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).” Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/questions-and-answers-about-breast-implant-associated-anaplastic-large-cell-lymphoma-bia-alcl. Accessed Feb. 4, 2020.

  3. Harvard Women’s Health Watch, “Could Your Breast Implants Be Making You Sick?” What to know if you’ve had or are considering this cosmetic enhancement.” Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/could-your-breast-implants-be-making-you-sick. Accessed Feb. 3, 2020.

  4. Way, Katie. Vice, “More Reports Linking Textured Breast Implants With Cancer Surface.” Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/qjdbpd/more-reports-linking-textured-breast-implants-with-cancer-surface. Accessed Feb. 6, 2020.