09 Nov Could Your Breast Implants Be Making You Sick?
Could your breasts be making you sick?
The stories are all over the Internet: ….women experiencing mysterious symptoms such as chronic unexplained fatigue, depression, anxiety, chest pain, chills, rashes, and hair loss, gut issues & brain fog.
They suspect one cause — their breast implants.
Some women, determined to rid themselves of these vague but debilitating symptoms, are opting to remove their implants in hopes of curing their problems.
Breast implant illness (BII) is a term that some women and doctors use to refer to a wide range of symptoms that can develop after undergoing reconstruction or cosmetic augmentation with breast implants.
It is also sometimes referred to as autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome) & comes under the umbrella diagnosis of CIRS – ‘Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome’
Susceptibility to CIRS depends on genetic testing, which has a predisposition of about 20% of the population.
BII impacts each individual in a unique way & appear any time after implant surgery — some people develop symptoms immediately, while some develop them years later
Symptoms may include:
- joint and muscle pain
- chronic fatigue
- memory and concentration problems
- breathing problems
- sleep disturbance
- rashes and skin problems
- dry mouth and dry eyes
- hair loss
- gastrointestinal problems
A lot of the symptoms of BII are associated with autoimmune and connective tissue disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma. Some people who have BII also get diagnosed with a specific autoimmune or connective tissue disorder
Treatment of breast implant illness
Breast implant illness isn’t well understood in the medical community, & individual plastic surgeons take different approaches to treating it.
The treatment most likely to improve symptoms over the long term is removing the implants and the surrounding scar tissue capsules and not replacing the implants with new ones. It is important to ask your surgeon to remove the scar tissue capsules because that is a key part of the treatment.
Some plastic surgeons recommend a procedure called an “en bloc capsulectomy” — removing the implant and capsule in one piece. This approach helps prevent silicone, biofilm (colonies of bacteria that stick to each other and the implant), or other substances that are within the capsule from escaping into the body.
Fully removing the scar tissue capsules also may lower the risk that fluid will collect in that area after the surgery (this is known as a seroma). Others may recommend a “total” (or “complete”) capsulectomy, which involves removing both the implant and the capsule, just not in one piece.