Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Danger from Moldy Breast ImplantsDecember 10, 2015
Breast augmentation is the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States. Last year alone, nearly 300,000 women and teens underwent the procedure to enlarge their breasts and more than 100,000 breast cancer patients had reconstructive surgery after mastectomy with implants. However, despite their soaring popularity, debate over the safety of silicone and saline implants continues to make headlines. More women than ever are opting to forego implants in favor of a breast lift procedure and some are having their implants removed amid safety and health concerns. In 2014, there were more than 23,000 implant removal procedures performed.
For decades, there has been wide debate over the health effects of silicone implants. Studies suggest that ruptured or leaking silicone implants may be linked to painful and disabling diseases including fibromyalgia, dermatomyositis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. For this reason, many women have chosen saline-filled implants over silicone because they perceived it to be a safer option. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Recently, a Florida woman learned just how dangerous saline breast implants can be. In 2011, the 44-year old suddenly began gaining weight, losing her vision and experiencing burning pain. She developed sores all over her body and was having trouble thinking clearly. She visited numerous doctors who misdiagnosed her with Lupus, arthritis and thyroid problems. Finally, after seeing a breast implant specialist, she learned what the true culprit was – mold was growing inside of her breast implant and making her sick.
While rare, there have been other reports of women who became sickened by exposure to mold found on or inside their saline implants. In the case of the Florida woman, the buildup of mold was most likely due to a defective valve in the implant. In other cases, the mold can be a consequence of unsanitary conditions at the hospital or surgical center where the surgery was performed.
Saline is put into implants by one of two methods. The first method is an open fill system where sterile saline is poured in a sterile container before being drawn up by syringe and injected into the implant. During this procedure, the solution is exposed to air, possibly leading to later mold formation in the implant. The second and more common method is to use a closed filling system where the saline is injected directly into the implant via connected tubing. This method is considered safer because there is no exposure to air. However, if proper precautions are not taken to keep the solution sterile, or if a surgical mistake causes the implant to be placed incorrectly, there is a potential for mold to form.
Many doctors recommend that women with breast implants have them replaced every eight to 15 years for safety. As with all surgical procedures, there is always the potential that something can go wrong – whether due to a doctor or hospital’s mistake or because of a defective implant. Women experiencing problems with their breast implants or suffering from unexplained health issues are urged to contact a reputable Maryland medical product liability lawyer experienced in handling breast implant cases.
Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Women Who Have Become Ill Due to Defective Breast Implants
Women have a right to know what is making them sick. If you have undergone a breast augmentation or reconstructive surgery after mastectomy with implants and are experiencing problems but not getting the answers you need, we can help. At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, our Baltimore medical product liability lawyers are committed to helping those who have been harmed by defective implants and surgical mistakes. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate Maryland medical malpractice lawyers. A qualified member of our legal team is available to take your call and address your concerns 24 hours a day or you can contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of medical malpractice throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.