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Breast Implant Illness


What is Breast Implant Illness?

Breast implant illness is defined as a person who is having local or system symptoms related to their breast implants. It is a very controversial topic in plastic surgery. Symptoms can be wide ranging and commonly include brain fog, fatigue, body inflammation, to name a few. This illness is not well understood and research is ongoing to best define the illness as well as who is most likely to have it. It is important to know that implants affect different people in different ways. Most women who undergo breast augmentation do not appear to have any ill effects from their implants. However, many people do not do well with breast implants and elect to have them removed. Those who undergo removal usually have resolution or at least improvement in many of their symptoms.

What is the treatment for Breast Implant Illness?

My personal thoughts on the best treatment revolve around several things. First, the patient needs to have a consult with their medical doctor who deals with general health. Before removing implants, other reasons of what could be causing symptoms should be addressed. Hormone changes, lifestyle, and age can influence patient symptoms.

After other causes have been ruled out and or addressed, a discussion regarding surgical removal with a qualified plastic surgeon is next.

Surgical removal of the implant and breast capsule is the option chosen by most people. This removes the breast implants along with the associated scar tissue around the implants. Removal of the capsule may not be needed in all cases and should be discussed on an individual bases.

How do you removed the Breast Implant and Capsule?

There are 2 ways that removal are performed. One is way is called en bloc removal. This is when the implant and capsule are removed in one unit and come out together. The need for this type of removed is best suited for ruptured silicone implants because you reduce the spillage of silicone.

The other way to remove both the implant and capsule would be to remove the implant and then removed the capsule in pieces. This allows for a smaller incision because the larger opening to deliver the en bloc specimen is just not needed. The smaller incision allows for a quicker healing time and less scarring. This approach may be best for newer implants which have no signs of rupture.

How do you choose what type of removal to do?

Typically, the conversion about the advantages and disadvantages of both removal techniques are discussed and the patient chooses what they feel is best for them.

Do I need to have a breast lift or fat transfer with my explant?

A breast lift or fat transfer can be done at the same time as the removal. The need for those depends on your breast anatomy and desired results after removal. Often, no other surgery is needed after explant. Other times, a breast lift or fat transfer may be necessary to improve the aesthetics of the breast.

Do you take photos?

If requested, we take photos of the implant and breast capsules.

Do you test for mold and bacterial?

We send the samples of the breast capsule to be texted for bacteria and fungus. We also test the capsules for cancer.

Can I have my implants?

If your implants are not ruptured, we can give your implants back to you after proper cleaning.

Do you have a private surgery center?

Yes, we have a private surgery center. This allows for a private experience with easy entry and departing. Also, this allows for a better controlled environment with less exposure to other specialties. In other words, we don’t have any sick patients who may harbor other germs in our facility. We also have highly specialized staff who work mainly with plastic surgery patients.

Do you believe in breast implants illness?

Yes, I do. I have personally seen and heard of remarkable stories of improvement after implant removal. The bottom line is that some women do not do well with implants. And if thats you, I am more than happy to help you with this journey.