Female plastic surgeon prepares to start breast implant surgery.After learning of the increased risk of large cell lymphoma and breast implants, some women are uncertain if they can continue to sleep at night knowing their Allergan textured implants may be ticking time bombs.

In the summer of 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked Allergan to recall its Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders from the market.

The FDA said the Biocell line was associated with an increased risk of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a potentially deadline cancer of the immune system. At the time of the recall, the FDA had identified 573 cases of the disease around the world, including 33 deaths. Of the 573 cases, 481 were known to have the Allergan breast implants.

According to the FDA’s analysis, patients with Allergan Biocell textured breast implants have a risk of BIA-ALCL that is six times that of patients with other breast implants.

Risks of Large Cell Lymphoma and Breast Implants

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, women may feel conflicted on whether to keep their Allergan Biocell textured breast implants, especially if the reason they have the implants is due to breast cancer reconstruction surgery.



Even though BIA-ALCL is not a type of breast cancer, but is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the risk still haunts many women who have survived breast cancer.

The Wall Street Journal spoke with Michelle Peterson of Tennessee, who survived breast cancer and did her own research on the breast implants she received.

She told the Wall Street Journal, “The longer I thought about it, I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m keeping these in my body.’”

Peterson, now 38, has already had the implants removed.

The FDA recommends that women who have no symptoms of BIA-ALCL to keep the implants because the risk of the cancer remains small, and surgery itself comes with its own set of risks.



The Wall Street Journal spoke with Melinda Haws, a clinical assistant professor of plastic surgery at Vanderbilt University, about the risks of large cell lymphoma and breast implants.

Haws previously worked as a consultant for Allergan, among other breast implant manufacturers, and said, “If every woman who had textured breast implants all had them out, there would be more problems with that than the number of women that are going to get ALCL.”

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) cautions that among the potential risks of breast implant surgery are bleeding, infection, implant leakage or rupture, persistent pain, poor scarring or fluid accumulation. In addition, pregnancy, weight fluctuations and menopause can change the appearance of the implants over time.

Many women will eventually have the implants replaced, anyway, according to ASPS, because breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime.

Symptoms of BIA-ALCL include persistent swelling, hardening or pain near the breast implant because the cancer actually germinates in the capsule of scar tissue surrounding the implant. The rare cancer generally develops between six to 10 years after implantation.



The cost of breast implant removal varies, but is usually around $5,000 and insurance does not always cover the cost. According to the Wall Street Journal, Allergan will cover the cost of a new implant that has a smooth texture, and will cover a certain percentage of surgery if a woman with Biocell implants receives an ALCL diagnosis.

Join a Free Breast Implants Side Effects Lawsuit Investigation

You may qualify for this breast implant investigation under the following circumstances:

  • You were implanted with textured breast implants;
  • You were diagnosed with Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA ALCL); and/or
  • You’ve suffered from any illness you believe is related to the implants.

Fill out the form on this page for a free case evaluation by a breast implants injury attorney. 

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This article is not legal advice. It is presented
for informational purposes only.

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