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A Florida woman indicates in a recently filed lawsuit that she developed a condition known as breast implant illness after receiving Mentor breast implants, which have left her with permanent injuries.
The complaint was filed by Jennifer Tinkler in the Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County in Florida on August 7, and was removed to federal court (PDF) last week by Mentor Worldwide, LCC, the defendant.
Tinkler indicates that suffered a variety of symptoms after receiving the Mentor breast implants, including fatigue, chest pain, hair loss, headaches, chills, photosensitivity, chronic pain, rash, body odor, anxiety, brain fog, sleep disturbance, depression, neurological issues, autoimmune issues and hormonal issues as a result of her breast implants. This set of symptoms has been increasingly referred to as breast implant illnesses in recent years, with a growing number of women nationwide experiencing similar side effects.
In many cases, the breast implant illness problems have led women to have the implants removed, and concerns about the risk have become a factor many are questioning whether to undergo breast enhancement or reconstruction surgery. However, the illnesses have not yet been scientifically verified, and the FDA has required breast implant manufacturers to investigate the potential side effects, particularly with silicone breast implants for several years. Mentor implants were approved in 2013 with the post-market approval study requirements.
Mentor removed the case to the federal court system, based on the amounts of damages sought and the diversity among parties, so the case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Breast Implant Health Problems
In addition to the unexplained illnesses, problems have also emerged that suggest a link between breast implants and lymphoma that may develop in the tissue surrounding certain types of devices, known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
On January 26, 2011, the FDA first released a report about case studies and epidemiological research, whcih suggested there was a link between breast implants and ALCL.
The agency then issued a statement about emerging information on the breast implant lymphoma problems last year, and a number of subsequent studies have confirmed that the breast implant ALCL cancer risk is real.
Last month, the FDA announced that all Allergan Natrelle and Biocell lines of microtextured breast implants were being removed from the market, due to the risk of breast implant ALCL.
In addition to the breast implant illness lawsuits, there is a growing number of breast implant ALCL lawsuits filed by women throughout the United States, including several class action lawsuits that call for medical monitoring for women with the recalled implants.